BYOA – the latest BYOx acronym to cause IT headaches

A new European survey announced today, commissioned by Citrix and conducted by Vanson Bourne, shows a disparity between concern and action. Companies are worried about the threat that BYOx brings to business, but are doing relatively little about it. In the UK, 9 out of 10 companies see users download personal apps for business use; and 91% of European IT decision makers are using their own apps for business use on BYO devices. 

Sixty-five percent of UK businesses have concerns over data privacy mandates; but despite the widespread acceptance and use of personal apps, only 25% of UK organizations have thoroughly evaluated the impact of this trend.

A growing use of personal apps is perhaps inevitable. The survey also shows that the increasing use of mobile devices is dramatically changing the application landscape within business. While the use of Windows applications within business has dropped from 61% to 50% in the last year, the use of mobile and SaaS applications has grown from 17% to 25%. This is hardly surprising when traditional Word is less relevant to a mobile phone or tablet than Google’s online SaaS applications.

Key growth seems to be in the use of those apps that enable the transfer of data and documents from corporate server to personal device - cloud storage services like DropBox and Drive, calendaring systems, voice comms such as Skype and note-taking such as Evernote. While these particular products are (probably, and as far as we know) okay, an increasing tendency to allow staff to chose and use their own apps in the business environment could tempt users to download malware pretending to be useful.

“The line between work and play is blurring more than ever before,” said James Stevenson area vice-president for UK, Ireland and South Africa at Citrix. “As a consequence, organizations need to instill policies to closely manage the apps being introduced by employees... and then introduce technology that allows those apps to follow them, safely, to any device, wherever they are.”

With “72% of UK organisations already supporting staff mobility, and a further 21%  planning to do so in the next 24 months, the ‘app issue’ is only set to persist,” says Citrix.

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