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BYOD cheers up staff, boosts productivity - and IT bosses hate it

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Costs, security headaches and battles to get different technologies working with each other are stalling Bring-Your-Own-Device schemes in UK offices, according to new figures.

In an Insight poll of 232 IT managers in Blighty, 79 per cent said they aren't implementing strategies to allow employees to buy their own kit for both personal and business use.

Of the 21 per cent that have taken the leap, the vast majority claimed to have noted a lift in staff morale - and happy people equals more productive people: despite the slowish uptake, 71 per cent of all the IT heads questioned expected a productivity hike from BYOD.

Stuart Fenton, EMEA president at Insight, forecast an acceleration of adoption when better tools emerge to lock down devices and make them more interoperable.

"It's probably twelve months before the big guns bring out those products. All those things coming together should push back on the naysayers," he told The Channel.

He said almost half of those quizzed also outlined concerns about costs, with just 18 per cent expecting BYOD to cut IT overheads and roughly a third anticipating "hidden costs" related to managing different operating systems and licensing issues.

It seems top execs and younger staff in organisations are demanding BYOD, but IT managers are wary of adopting it. BYOD was characterised as a ticking time bomb for B2B hardware channels by analyst TechMarketView as employees snap up tech from retailers.

Fenton agreed that "to some degree it is a threat", but reckoned enterprises may look to exact control over the supply chain with a purchase programme for employees.

"Desktops and notebooks will still be corporate devices [procured centrally]," he said, adding that tabs and smartphones will likely fall under a BYOD strategy. ®

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