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BYO IT schemes unpopular with CIOs: report

Only 27 per cent of Australian businesses adopt user-owned IT schemes

Despite the rise in popularity of consumer technology, Australian CIOs still favour purchasing their employees' IT equipment, with 73 per cent preferring this method more than Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) schemes.

The figure comes from IDC's global consumerisation of IT research (sponsored by Unisys) based on 2820 responses. The research surveyed 302 consumer respondents and 60 business respondents in Australia.

Dematic CIO Allan Davies began employing a Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC) model in his workplace after staff interest increased during the GFC and in an attempt to prepare the organisation for Gen Y employees.

"In our yearly IT customer satisfaction survey a number of employees commented they had bigger, better, faster PC's at home and by providing our standard equipment we were hindering their ability to be productive. The concept of BYOPC was to allow these users to bring their 'higher spec' PC's to work if they so desired," Davies told CIO.

Davies said 44 per cent of employees showed interest in the scheme in the ANZ region of Dematic, but in the Asia-Pacific region this number was much higher with 59 per cent of employees seeing the benefit of a BYOT scheme.

IDC's research indicates IT policies around BYOT schemes are still being formed in most workplaces, with an increase of 21 per cent of the Australian organisations surveyed expecting to need more support for staff PDAs, and 17 per cent more needing greater support for staff PCs and Netbooks.

Davies believes a mismatch in expectations between IT leaders and employees can occur when BYOT schemes are adopted, even when clear policies around the technology are developed.

"There can be an expectation IT will provide a company issued PC in the event of a failure, even though this is clearly addressed in the BYOPC policy," Davies said.

When asked whether CIOs should consider implementing a BYOT or BYOPC scheme, Davies said it depended on the needs of each organisation.

"Each CIO needs to evaluate their particular circumstance and gauge the support for this concept from the end users as well as the company's executive management team. My experience has shown regardless of what users say they want, they are reluctant to invest their own money in technology to use at work. They still believe this is the businesses' responsibility," Davies said.

General manager of Unisys Asia-Pacific, Lee Ward, said the findings come as no surprise when the risks associated with BYOT schemes are weighed up.

"New IT purchasing models bring greater freedom of choice to employees to choose the IT device they want for work. However, employee-owned IT models also bring a number of new issues for the employer to manage in terms of the ability to manage or search corporate data on the device, [whether] adequate security measures are in place and who is responsible for maintenance and insurance," Ward said.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: ANZ, Dematic, IDC, OPC, Unisys
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Simon Bramfitt


Given the relative immaturity of "bring your own" initiatives I would have thought that a report indicating a 27% adoption rate is indicative of a positive response rather than a negative one.

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