By Richard Absalom
Driving this trend is the predisposition of professionals in high-growth markets to “live to work” and the lower rate of corporate provision of mobile handsets and tablets.
As part of the largest study (1) ever conducted into employee BYOD behaviour and attitudes, a new paper (2) from Ovum reveals that across 17 markets (3), 57.1 percent of full-time employees engage in some form of BYOD. Yet, when broken down by market, there is a clear trend: 75 percent of respondents in the emerging, “high-growth” markets (including Brazil, Russia, India, UAE, and Malaysia) demonstrate a much higher propensity to use their own devices at work, compared to 44 percent in more mature markets.
Employees in high-growth, emerging economies are demonstrating a more flexible attitude to working hours, and are happy to use their own devices for work. However, in mature markets, employees have settled into comfortable patterns of working behaviour and are more precious about the separation of their work and personal domains. This bifurcation in behaviour will shape not just future patterns of enterprise mobility in high-growth markets compared to mature markets, but also dictate which markets, structurally, are going to benefit most from this revolution in how and where we work.
Ovum’s research also suggests that employees in high-growth markets see BYOD as way to get ahead in their careers, with 79 percent believing that constant connectivity to work applications enables them to do their jobs better, compared to 53.5 percent in mature markets.
A notable anomaly to this trend is Spain, where 62.8 percent of employees bring their own devices to work – well above the developed market mean. This could have something to do with the struggling economy: people are willing to use any and all means necessary to get ahead in their jobs, as losing them could be disastrous, given the high rates of unemployment.
For businesses, while it’s promising to see IT departments getting to grips with, and encouraging, such behaviour in the regions where BYOD behaviour is most prevalent, Ovum warns that too much BYOD activity is going unmanaged. Of those respondents who bring their own devices to work, 17.7 percent claim that their employer’s IT department does not know, while a further 28.4 percent of respondents’ IT departments actively ignore it is happening.
Unmanaged BYOD creates a great data security risk, and the implications of losing sensitive data via a personally owned device can be dire from financial, reputational and legal perspectives. Every business must understand the behaviour of its own employees, which, as we have seen, is likely to be influenced by its location, and manage it according to its risk profile.
(1) Multi-market BYOD Survey Results: Employee Behaviour and Attitudes Toward Mobile Device Usage at Work, (Oct 2012) and Multi-market BYOD Survey Results: The BYOD Management Gap, (Oct 2012)
(2) Commisioned by Logicalis: “BYOD: an emerging market trend in more ways than one.” (Commissioned infographic is also attached).
(3) Ovum’s multi-market BYOD survey gathered responses from 3,796 consumers across 17 different countries; Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, UK, US.
About the author and Ovum
Richard Absalom is consumer impact IT analyst at Ovum.
Jointly awarded IIAR Global Analyst of the Year 2012, Ovum provides clients with independent and objective analysis that enables them to make better business and technology decisions. Its research draws upon over 400,000 interviews each year with business and technology, telecoms and sourcing decision-makers, giving Ovum and its clients unparalleled insight, not only into business requirements but also the technology that organizations must support. Ovum is an Informa business.