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The Great Divide: Mobile Workers Challenge IT Departments With Aggressive Use Of Consumer Tech, Unisys-Commissioned Study Finds

Stocks in this article: UIS

In studying the behaviors of these individuals, Unisys found that the mobile elite are more likely than average iWorkers to report using consumer technologies to be more productive, serve customers, and drive innovation:

  • 58 percent of mobile elites spend their own money to buy things such as personal technology to do their jobs, compared to 27 percent of average iWorkers.
  • 67 percent of mobile elites say that use of personal devices or applications makes them more productive and efficient, compared to 43 percent of average iWorkers.
  • More than a third of the mobile elite say that using "bring your own" devices and applications allows them to better serve customers and collaborate with colleagues, compared to 24 percent of average iWorkers.
  • 43 percent of mobile elite workers say they recently participated in a work-based innovation program, versus 33 percent of average iWorkers.
  • 37 percent of mobile elite respondents say that they recently convinced their management to significantly change a work process, compared to 27 percent of average iWorkers.

Mobile Workers Creating New Risks for Their Organizations In their zeal to be more productive and service-centric, mobile elite workers – whether intentionally or not – may be opening up new management, support and security risks for their organizations. 

Mobile elite workers are more than three times as likely as average iWorkers to download unauthorized applications to get work done. In fact, 82 percent of mobile elite workers report having done this, despite the fact that 75 percent of IT decision makers say they consider downloading unauthorized software for work as grounds for dismissal.

The Unisys research reveals that IT organizations may not be prepared to address the risks being created by their highly connected, mobile employees:

  • 54 percent of IT decision makers say that their organizations have inadequate tools or missing policies to secure employee-owned smartphones.
  • 71 percent of IT respondents say that they have implemented password-based solutions as the primary means of user authentication, or plan to do so over the next 12 months. The percentages were far lower for planned use of more sophisticated means of security, including attached-device authentication (22 percent) and facial biometrics (12 percent).

On an encouraging note, 67 percent of IT decision makers surveyed say that enhancing mobile security is a high or critical priority over the next 12 months.

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