Security worries holding back public sector BYOD

Public sector ICT directors are more interested in using Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies to save costs than the private sector, but are more worried about the security implications, according to a new survey.

Research carried out on behalf of Vodafone talked to 300 business and 300 public sector leaders and IT directors about the changing role of digital departments.

The study found that overall, 23% of organisations do not currently enable staff to use their own devices for work.

It said: “What’s holding them back? One thing jumps out above all others – security.”

According to the survey, 80% of public sector ICT directors showed an interest in BYOD, compared to just 41% of their private sector counterparts.

But 67% of the former group which had not implemented BYOD cited security as the main reason for not doing so, compared to 47% in the private sector.

The research also found that 74% of the public sector respondents identified supporting a wider range of devices as a priority, compared to 56% in the private sector.

The figures supporting fully integrating communications with ICT were 68% and 54% respectively.

Overall, the survey found that more than a third of non-ICT directors think their ICT departments need to hone their communication skills and collaborate more effectively with other functions.

This finding was reflected by a figure revealing that 86 per cent of ICT directors recognised they need to think more about the strategic and transformational role that technology plays within their organisation.

The report identified the changing role of ICT departments, with nearly nine out of 10 respondents stated that ICT is now an important enabler of change.

However, some heads of IT are also struggling to keep pace with rapid changes in their responsibilities, with two-thirds worrying about remaining up to date with their knowledge of technology (63%).

Jonathan Kini, enterprise commercial marketing director at Vodafone UK, said: “Far from being the problem child of old, IT departments are now absolutely critical to the growth and strategic direction of businesses in the UK.”

In January, the Information Commissioner’s Office said that BYOD strategies could actually enhance security if managed properly.

Colin Marrs

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