SMBs Benefit From Staff Using Their Own Mobiles

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A survey for Citrix Online claims productivity improves as staff bring their own devices into the workplace

The rise of consumer devices as thin clients for business has been given a boost in a YouGov survey which deduced that the choice of end-user device becomes less critical as software moves to the cloud.

The survey, commissioned by Citrix Online, also claims that employees who use their own tablets or smartphones show up to a 30 percent increase in productivity. The survey of SMBs in the UK, France and Germany recorded that 11 percent of the sample of 700 companies showed gains at the highest level and that a third of the organisations claimed 10 percent or more improvement.

Personal Devices Trending In The Workplace

Almost half (45 percent) of the staff working for the respondents to the online survey are using their own devices for work.

“Over the past few years, small businesses in particular have come under significant commercial, regulatory and environmental pressure to enable greater workforce mobility,” said Andrew Millard, EMEA senior director of marketing at Citrix Online. “However, as part of a broader trend of the ‘consumerisation of technology’, employees have now added their considerable weight to this demand for change, as they look to use sophisticated personal devices in a work environment.”

The survey showed that there is “bottom-up” pressure from the employees to allow them to use devices of their own choosing. In the UK, according to YouGov’s results, 43 percent of the surveyed group claimed that this pressure has increased in the past year. It was seen as a response to 64 percent of the SMBs’ staff striving “to improve their work/life balance and reduce commuting”.

At the senior level, the use of these devices has become widespread, with only six percent of company executives claiming not to possess a personal communications device.

Overall, 61 percent of employees said they wanted to make their lives easier by using the same device for business and personal use. This desire may also be rooted in the fact that half of those asked claimed their own device was more functional and flexible than the alternatives provided by their employers.

The downside of the consumer-tools revolution is that over half of the sample (57 percent) have no management tools in place to monitor or control the range of hardware swept up in the rapid expansion of devices. Millard sees this as the result of a transitional period as companies come to terms with staff using their own tablets and phones. As the practice becomes normal procedure, things will change.

“Though SMBs still have a long way to go, we are witnessing a trend towards better, more-controlled device management,” he said. “Nearly one in five businesses, for example, are already adopting leading secure remote access software, web conferencing solutions and remote IT tools.”

Citrix Online commissioned the survey to highlight their online services for remote access to desktop systems, online meetings and Internet-enabled support. The company did not say if the sample businesses were visitors to their Website, users of their products or a truly random sample.

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