With more Australian businesses allowed to bring in their own devices (BYOD) to the workplace, another trend, bring your own apps (BYOA) is gathering pace, according to emerging technology analyst firm, Telsyte.
New research from Telsyte, Digital Workplace Study 2012, which surveyed more than 800 CIOs and senior IT decision makers, showed more people are beginning to use publicly downloadable applications for work purposes – often tightly integrated with mobile and Cloud apps.
It found that 28 per cent of Australian businesses allow some form of BYOA (business apps), with this trend expected to rapidly grow over coming years. However, the unsanctioned use of BYOA is expected to be significantly higher.
It also showed 43 per cent of Australian businesses allow BYOD for notebooks, 40 per cent for media tablets and 54 per cent for smartphones.
Telsyte senior analyst, Rodney Gedda, said the amount of apps people can bring to a work environment is being driven by SaaS and mobile offerings, with Apple’s iOS and Google Android mobile operating systems putting thousands of apps at people’s fingertips.
“It is inevitable people will use these apps for personal and business use. The challenge for enterprise IT departments is balancing the productivity gains of BYOA with the security and business continuity risks,” he said.
Telsyte claimed BYOA will become the focal point for businesses and even outstrip BYOD as cost of smartphones and media tablets decreases and the diversity of consumer Cloud apps increases.
It said BYOA benefits include a low barrier to entry, as many public apps are free or low cost, and general user experience of high levels of reliability and usability.
Conversely, BYOA has its own set of risks, including the security of the information in addition to providers not being able to guarantee the long term viability of a product, or offer enterprise level service level agreements (SLA).
“BYOA is a significant trend in the consumerisation of IT, but IT departments can also work with many of the public apps to investigate wider corporate deployments if the apps are popular and meet company objectives,” Gedda said.
The study also found that popular BYOA software used for business included: data backups and storage (Dropbox, iCloud); calendaring; collaboration (GoToMeeting, WebEx); voice communications (Skype); project and task management (Remember the Milk); productivity (Pages, QuickOffice Pro); multimedia; and note taking (Evernote).