SMBs trail on mobile device management adoption

Low take up among Spiceworks community despite strong support for BYOD

BlackBerry Z10

Small and midsized businesses are passing up mobile device management solutions despite recognising the security risks posed by 'bring your own device' trends, according to a survey of 991 SMB IT professionals conducted by Spiceworks.

The study, titled As BYOD Becomes Mainstream, Complexity Increases for SMBs, reports that over half (61%) of SMBs taking part in the survey have implemented a BYOD policy or initiative for employee-owned smartphones.

However, just 17% of these are actively managing mobile devices using a mobile device management (MDM) solution and a further 20% have plans to address this in the next six months. Moreover, over half (56%) currently have no plans to implement an MDM solution.

Of those businesses that have not deployed an MDM solution, 49% say they do not perceive big enough security threats to warrant the investment despite recognising their existence.

Additionally, more than a third (36%) of respondents claim they lack the knowledge to proceed with the implementation tof a MDM technology, and 34% cite budgetary concerns.

BYOD 'headache'

When asked how well their BYOD policy works for some devices, responses are mixed. One-third of IT professionals say it works well for some devices and poorly for others, while 23% say it's a headache for their department, and only 17% fully embrace the trend.

The study found that smaller businesses with fewer than 250 employees are the most likely to have a BYOD policy, with 69% saying they support a BYOD policy today.

Companies with more than 250 employees have a higher adoption rate of MDM technoligies, the survey found, with 21% having already adopted or currently implementing and another 25% planning on doing so within six months.

Kathryn Pribish, Voice of IT Program Manager at Spiceworks, said: "It's clear BYOD support will continue to grow so the industry conversation must evolve from 'whether to how' IT organisations can better manage and secure the devices employees bring to work each day."