We Hate BYOD Bans, But Most Firms Have Them

Bring-your-own device (BYOD) policies continue to cause friction in the workplace, as IT managers enforcing workplace policies clash with workers who own equipment more powerful than anything their bosses will actually supply. One recent survey suggests that bans are dominant, but more than half of all employees are upset by the blocks.

Picture by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A survey conducted by VMWare across 10 Asia-Pacific countries, including 200 workers from Australia, found that just over half felt they could work more efficiently when able to work on a device of their choice in a web-based environment. However, 79 per cent of the firms involved did not offer any support for employees who used their own equipment, despite 55 per cent saying they would be happier to do so.

“People genuinely felt unhappy and stressed with their low satisfaction with technology at work,” Dave Wakeman, end user computing expert at VMware Australia, told Lifehacker. “It’s not a big surprise to see people preferring their own apps, but end users have turned round and said ‘we hate not being given choice, we feel stressed’. And they felt like IT didn’t trust them.”

“The survey found two things. Most of the employees who responded, 90-odd per cent, had a block, and if they did allow people to hook up other devices they got no support. It’s ultimately going to affect people’s perception of the kinds of organisations they want to work for.”

“There’s now a massive gap between the quality and the type of technology we have at home and what we have at work. It used to be the reverse.”

Is there any way to solve that issue? Not surprisingly given VMware’s virtualisation focus, Wakeman argues that a new application roll-out model is needed. “We’re going to need to jettison some of the legacy ways of deploying applications. It’s really going to take a new approach to IT, a different way of delivering apps and securing data so we don’t have to get obsessed with what device they’re on. The security is going to have to move back from the actual endpoint device. We obsess about the device right now, but the security is going to move back into the network. It sounds like a simple notion but it’s a big change for IT.”

“This isn’t just a fad. It isn’t just people enamoured of queuing outside the Apple store for its own sake; this is a generational shift, and we need to wake up to the needs of users and bridge that gap.”

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