IT Pros and BYOD Users See Support Much Differently

When it comes to providing mobile support to BYOD employees, IT and end users have drastically different perspectives. More than half of tech pros recently surveyed would give themselves a grade of A or B. However, most users would give IT a C or worse. Why the disconnect?

Mon, September 09, 2013

CIO — Are you dropping the ball when it comes to enterprise mobility?

A new report suggests IT might be delivering poor mobile support to BYOD employees even though IT pros think they're doing a good job. In other words, mobility is becoming a major point of contention in the rocky IT-business relationship -- and tech leaders aren't even aware there's an issue.

A Failure to Communicate

Technology services and product provider CDW surveyed 1,200 mobile users and 1,200 IT professionals, and found a significant disconnect: 64 percent of IT professionals graded themselves with an A or B for providing personal mobile support (including BYOD policies and technical support), while 56 percent of users gave IT a grade of C or worse.

In the survey, BYOD users sounded off about their issues with IT. Some were age-old refrains: "Improve IT's availability for technical issues, including faster response times." Others were specific to mobility: "Allow us to access apps which could be used for work so we aren't as dependent on our PCs."

For the most part, though, users simply want better training and communication from IT as they find their way in the brave new world of mobile devices.

[ Slideshow: 12 BYOD Disaster Scenarios ]

"Mobility has edged its way into the workplace, increasing and complicating IT's workload, and often leading to frustration on all fronts," says Andrea Bradshaw, senior director and general manager for mobility solutions at CDW.

BYOD Isn't Easy

To be fair, IT has a tough job.

For starters, smartphones and tablets have sold largely on their simplicity. It just works, says Apple. This is a hard standard to live up to for an IT department in charge of security and network bandwidth despite dwindling resources.

A whopping 86 percent of BYOD-ers say they access or save work-related information on their mobile device. Some 5 percent of users admitted losing a personal device used for work, either forgetting it somewhere or having it stolen. Given that many users have more than one device, CDW estimates one in 20 of all devices will be lost or stolen.

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