By Daniel Hunter

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, a global leader in digital media and convergence technologies, has found that organisations employing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy reported a 17% reduction on their annual communications bill – almost £6 million a year per enterprise.

In addition, nearly half (47%) of British organisations reported an increase in employee engagement as a result of BYOD, translating into enhanced productivity for 46% of them.

However, the survey of 100 British companies, who employ 1,000 people or more, also found 97% have had a security breach in the last two years, or anticipated they would have if they allowed employees to bring their own device into the office. In spite of this widespread acknowledgement of BYOD-related security threats, only one in five (22%) of the British organisations surveyed have updated (14%) or plan to update (8%) their BYOD security policy.

Graham Long, Vice President, Enterprise Business Team at Samsung Electronics, said: “Our research makes clear that there are major benefits for organisations who allow employees to use their own mobile devices for work. As well as operating cost savings, businesses stand to improve employee engagement through embracing the opportunities of mobile working through smartphones, tablets and laptops, either through BYOD or ‘Choose Your Own Device’ policies.

“But our analysis also highlights the dangerous threat to corporate stability that BYOD poses. The potential to lose customer data and other confidential information through mobile devices shows how threatening BYOD could be for many organisations. It’s crucial that businesses sure that enterprise mobility strategy has a highly secure infrastructure as its foundation, together with effective and clear user policy guidelines that are implemented consistently.”

According to the CIO of a global financial services company, “We estimate that the bank will save $2-3 million a year from moving from a corporate sponsored plan to a BYOD plan, where employees are more liable for costs, such as roaming while abroad. We will also save by not buying the device,”

Another CIO commented, “If we are going to compete for the best talent coming out of college with the Google’s, Facebook’s and Twitters of the world, then we need to implement super flexible systems for working, just as they are. For new starters in the workforce, ten years ago it was all about pay — today, it’s all about flexibility.”

Across Europe, over a third (34%) reported actual or anticipated lost customer data as a result of security breaches through the use of personal mobile devices for work, voicing concern about the security impacts of personal devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, for corporate use.

The report found that over half of large European organisations have already implemented a formal (31%) or informal (21%) BYOD policy, with regional implementation rates as high as 70% in Italy, dropping to 43% in Germany. In the UK, 56% of organisations employing 1,000 people or more promote BYOD for work.

Where BYOD policies are in place, around 30% of employees take advantage of the program, and organisations project that this proportion will increase by 7% in two years’ time.

Samsung conducted internet research of 490 CIOs and IT decision makers from organisations employing more than 1,000 people across Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands Poland, Spain and the UK. The data was collected in May and June 2013.

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