A new study by Altodigital, a supplier of digital print and document solutions, has revealed a potential IT nightmare waiting to happen as businesses fail to properly manage bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and mobile print technologies within their organisations.
The research revealed that despite the BYOD trend continuing to surge with more than half (57%) of companies admitting to ‘bringing their own devices’, the vast majority (63%) of businesses still don’t have a specific IT strategy in place to manage the process, putting their IT systems at detrimental risk.
Mobile printing – an application of BYOD and something 20% of businesses are currently doing and a further 50% are planning to – presents even more serious security implications if not properly managed, especially if staff are using unproven and un-tested mobile print software as 26% are. Just 17% said they used company-approved software for mobile printing.
It appears both these factors could be causing some serious problems; 40% of respondents admitted they had faced IT problems as a result of this lack of strategy; the most common being network security breaches or viruses (71%), network and connectivity issues (48%) and lack of email or internet access (23%).
The study, which questioned more than 1,000 decision makers across a variety of UK businesses, was commissioned by Altodigital to help it better understand emerging document and print trends.
Tony Burnett, group sales director at Altodigital, said: “BYOD is not a new trend, and as the research shows, it is enjoying widespread adoption among businesses of all kinds. However, despite this, it’s staggering that so few companies have a dedicated policy in place to appropriately cope with this, especially given the very real IT and security issues that can be caused as a result. In fact, of those without a BYOD strategy currently in place, 70% said they had no plans to develop one at all.
“However, we don’t want people to be put off from embracing BYOD, and applications such as mobile printing can present enormous benefits to a business. Securely managing the process does not need to be overly complicated, and we expect to see IT departments increasingly integrating secure mobile print applications as part of their broader BYOD strategy in 2014.”
There are currently two main applications of mobile print; public printing through specific print apps and public hotspots, and corporate printing, utilising solutions that enable printing from smartphone and tablet technology to any device within the business network.