by Tom Kaneshige

Workers Going Rogue With BYOD (and BYOA)

Aug 19, 20142 mins
CareersCloud ComputingConsumer Electronics

More than half of employees admit to going rogue to do their jobs. In other words, it really doesn't matter if IT formally rejects BYOD -- or Bring Your Own Apps -- because it's happening anyway.

byod mobile smartphones tablets devices
Credit: Thinkstock

On one side of the fence, lots of companies, especially those in Europe, won’t have anything to do with the Bring Your Own Device programs. On the other side, an equal number of companies have jumped on the BYOD bandwagon, including at least a few going all-in with mandatory BYOD.

What’s the real story?

[Related: BYOD Twists and Turns Keep CIOs Off-Balance]

Like all good tales, the most interesting stuff is what’s happening behind the scenes. More than half of employees admit to using rogue apps to do their jobs, with a good chunk of employees actively keeping IT in the dark, according to a TrackVia online survey of more than 1,000 employees and 250 IT workers. In other words, it really doesn’t matter if a company formally rejects BYOD — or, in this case, Bring Your Own Apps — because it’s happening anyway.

[Related: Court Ruling Could Bring Down BYOD]

Even worse, rogue apps such as Google Docs, Dropbox, JoinMe and others pose a huge security threat to a company’s intellectual property. A separate survey from Intralinks Holdings and Gigaom Research this summer found that 46 percent of senior IT professionals believe data is leaking from their companies due to unmanaged file sharing products like Box and Dropbox.

At the CIO 100 Symposium in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., CIOs shook their heads whenever BYOD was mentioned. Speaking informally, a few CIOs admitted that rogue BYOD abounds in their companies and that they’re probably liable for them in some form.

Searching for Motives

TrackVia’s survey dug a little deeper and unearthed a few motives behind this sneaky behavior. In a sign of the times, 40 percent of respondents say their company doesn’t have the budget for the right technology tools. A similar percentage say their company provides tools, just not the tools they want. And one out of three respondents says the tools the company provides are outdated.

[Related: How CIOs Can Boost Mobile App Adoption]

There’s no question IT is running behind the needs of the employees. In fact, 76 percent of IT workers recognize they’re delivering outdated enterprise tools that aren’t meeting employees’ needs, the survey found. More than half of IT workers don’t even expect employees to use only IT approved apps and devices, meaning they’re resigned to the reality of rogue tech.

Here are a couple of slides that show TrackVia’s findings:

trackvia info TrackVia

Click for larger image.