Mobile Kiwi Workers Challenging Unresponsive Organisations
Mobile Kiwi Workers Are Challenging Unresponsive Organisations by Using Unauthorised BYO Apps, Unisys Research Finds
Employees download unauthorised software for work – even at risk of dismissal and despite risks it poses to their organisations
The 2012 New Zealand “Consumerisation of IT” research into enterprise mobility, commissioned by Unisys and conducted by Forrester Consulting1, reveals that while many large organisations see smartphones, tablets and employee-owned devices in the workplace as inevitable, the majority are lagging in providing employees with more than basic (email/calendar) mobile applications to take advantage of this new mobility.
This shortfall in support for employee mobility is driving employees to download unauthorised apps (BYO apps) even though doing so may be prohibited, or even grounds for dismissal.
In responding to the 2012 survey, 24 percent of New Zealand employees said that they had downloaded unauthorised mobile apps or PC software. While this is below the global average of 38 percent, it still represents almost a quarter of Kiwi iWorkers, The most common reason given for doing so – cited by 62 percent of respondents – was that they needed the software for work purposes and their employer didn’t provide an alternative.
Aside from personal email apps and websites, the most common apps downloaded by New Zealand employees are video conferencing tools such as Skype or FaceTime (24 percent of respondents), file sharing such as Box or Dropbox (29 percent), and chat tools such as Microsoft Messenger or Google Talk (24 percent).
Importantly, many employees say that they are using these apps to conduct work with customers, partners and/or suppliers, not just for personal reasons or to communicate with each other.
When asked which unsupported apps they use to interact with customers, partners or suppliers, almost a quarter (6 in 25) of New Zealand employees say they use file sharing apps instead of sending email attachments and 6 in 25 use video conferencing. Five in 25 Kiwi employees use chat apps for this purpose – almost twice the global average (12 percent).
“The findings show that as part of their increased mobility, employees are increasingly seeking tools for better collaboration and customer service – whether or not those tools are sanctioned by their employers, ” said Mr Rob Dewar, Vice President, Technology, Consulting and Integration Services, Unisys Australia and New Zealand.
“However, their behaviour is risky because an easily available app could contain malicious code and be used as a vehicle to steal data, spy or access a network. This behaviour can also lead to operational inefficiency and complicate end-user support if numerous employees are using too many different applications,” Mr Dewar said.
The survey reveals that to date, the primary strategy taken by employers to manage BYO apps has been to ban them, often with harsh penalties. Twenty percent of New Zealand organisations surveyed say that they have an IT policy prohibiting the downloading of third party applications. Moreover, 70 percent say that downloading unauthorised software is prohibited or even potential grounds for dismissal.
Mr Dewar said that many employees using their own devices at work expect to be able to download their own applications. However implementing a corporate-managed enterprise app store containing mobile apps that have been reviewed and approved for use on the corporate network can remove the need for employees to find and download their own apps.
“The key for security-sensitive organisations is to deliver a compelling app suite to their employees via controlled methods, such as a dedicated app store, so that users don’t need to come up with workaround methods to access applications they feel are necessary to do their jobs productively. Those organisations would do well to consult with their most innovative, productive mobile workers to determine what type of apps they require and then select or build them based on functionality and security. Of course, that approach needs to be combined with clear policies on application use and an education program around the security implications of third-party apps,” Mr Dewar said.
Kiwi Organisations Look to Provide Mobile
Employees a Range of New Apps
While email and calendar apps are currently the most common mobile applications provided to employees, many New Zealand organisations say they plan to provide a range of other applications over the next 12 months – including those which employees have been downloading themselves, such as web conferencing (27 percent of organisations), file synch or access (33 percent), and productivity tools (33 percent). Other planned apps include access to SharePoint and other team sites (33 percent) and internal business apps such as financials, ERP and HR (37 percent).
About the Research
1Unisys commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct the two global surveys in June 2012. They first polled 2609 employees/iWorkers to evaluate the state of mobile and personal device use and application use in the workplace. The second, separate study surveyed 590 business and IT decision makers from organisations of more than 500 employees with responsibility for purchasing computing devices or applications to support their enterprise. Respondents in both surveys were randomly recruited and screened from international panels, and came from nine countries: United States, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand and United Kingdom.
In New Zealand, there were 187 iWorker respondents and 30 IT and business respondents. Ninety-seven percent of the New Zealand organisations that responded in the IT and business decision-maker survey have more than 1,000 employees. For complete details, including country reports and global findings, visit Unisys’ Consumerisation of IT site: http://www.unisys.com/unisys/ri/topic/researchtopicdetail.jsp?id=700004
Unisys is a worldwide information technology company. We provide a portfolio of IT services, software, and technology that solves critical problems for clients. We specialise in helping clients secure their operations, increase the efficiency and utilisation of their data centres, enhance support to their end users and constituents, and modernise their enterprise applications. To provide these services and solutions, we bring together offerings and capabilities in outsourcing services, systems integration and consulting services, infrastructure services, maintenance services, and high-end server technology. With approximately 22,500 employees, Unisys serves commercial organisations and government agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.unisys.com.
About Unisys Asia Pacific
In Asia Pacific, Unisys delivers services and solutions through subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan and through distributors or resellers in other countries in the region. For more information visit www.unisys.co.nz. Follow us on www.twitter.com/UnisysAPAC.
Unisys is a registered trademark of Unisys Corporation. All other brands and products referenced herein are acknowledged to be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.