CTIA2013, “The Mobile Marketplace”, has closed, but the three-day event brought together wireless professionals from across all verticals and featured keynote appearances by Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, Verizon Wireless EVP & COO Marni Walden and Brightstar Chairman & CEO Marcelo Claure. And what is a trade show in Vegas without celebrities? Actors on hand included Jennifer Lopez, Ashton Kutcher and Mario Lopez.
Clyburn announced the FCC is moving forward to auction 10 MHz of spectrum and 55 MHz in other bands in addition to promoting ways to share spectrum more efficiently, such as small cell technology. Beth Jacob, CIO, Target discussed how the corporation leverages wireless to change the shopping experience. “JLo” and Walden hosted a super-secret session that Mobile Enterprise attended, announcing their partnership around vivamovil — a huge mobile initiative aimed at the Latino market.
Aside from the slew of new product, solution and services announcements that typically come out of a large conference, CTIA released a survey that revealed some interesting (and scary) facts about BYOD.
Who Is Doing What?
Most employees, according to the survey conducted by Harris Interactive, use personal devices to access corporate data regardless of company policy. And it’s likely their employers do not suspect otherwise. A whopping 60% of IT professionals said that only a quarter of their employees use personal devices to access company data, yet 57% of employees polled say they do. Here’s where the two are (unfortunately) on the same page: 47% of end-users and 42% of IT experts said there was no formal policy at their office.
The study also showed that 47% of consumers have never heard of BYOD. Only 55% of IT professionals said they were familiar with it (and surprisingly, 26% had no knowledge of the acronym.) Despite not recognizing the term, more than half of users said they engaged in some sort of BYOD behavior once informed of the definition.
Email, calendar and scheduling, databases, company apps and directories made the top five apps used by employees, which when used effectively, may actually save money for both the individual and the enterprise.
“I think organizations are now getting a handle on what the employees actually demand, which is being driven by business requirements, rather than technology,” said Trevor Goldberg, Director, Strategic Alliance, GLOBO, during a public interview at CTIA. Employees need to access corporate mail, group messaging, etc., so the changes are being driven by employees, he said, not the IT department.
In a meeting with Mobile Enterprise, Goldberg demonstrated the company’s GO!Enterprise247 solution — dubbed “enterprise mobility in a box” — which he said easily enables BYOD through its secure separation of work and personal.
Sure About Security
Employees, in large numbers, trust their IT departments. With 83% saying their smartphones are very or somewhat secure, 85% said the same of tablets. The IT professionals may not agree, however, as only 68% were confident in their security efforts for smartphones and 70% for tablets.
When it comes to whose responsibility it is to keep the devices secure, both users (82%) and IT professionals (67%) say it’s the user’s primary duty. Regardless of a company’s size, both companies with less than 500 employees (72%) or more (62%) said it’s the employee’s responsibility.
Speaking from a carrier perspective, Chris Boyer, Assistant VP of Public Policy, AT&T, told CTIA that the biggest issue in mobile is security. Data shows mobile attacks are growing, especially as more users move to smartphones annually. The solution, he said, is to be preventive as opposed to responsive, something normally associated with PCs.
From a solutions perspective, the market for managing and securing devices and data is certainly expanding as was illustrated during CTIA in the statement from AirWatch that the company received $25 million in funding. In a release, CEO John Marshall said, “Accel Partners and Insight Venture Partners recognize the massive potential of this space, and we are excited to partner with the best growth investors from both coasts.” In a live discussion at the show, Victor Cooper, public relations for AirWatch, confirmed that more exciting announcements will be forthcoming.
When it comes to users protecting their own devices, the survey asked what steps they take, and consumers said they have installed or used software updates (63%); password/PINs (58%); anti-virus programs (43%); location tracking (38%); and an app to remote lock, locate and/or erase data (34%). Users also said the IT department installed or used password/PINs (34%); anti-virus programs (28%); software updates (26%); restrict downloads (25%); and restrict access to certain employees (22%).
Despite similar BYOD incidences for companies of all sizes, smaller companies (fewer than 500 employees) are less likely to take action to protect employees’ mobile devices and less likely to communicate the importance of protective security action to their employees. Not surprisingly, their concerns over BYOD risks are low with 67% saying the benefits strongly or somewhat outweigh the risks.
BYOD is essentially a given but there’s a clear gap that needs to be filled. Of course, just when enterprises and consumers think they have it all figured out, things will change again. Still, that’s part of what makes mobile technology so exciting — right? As Steve Brumer, 151 Advisors told Mobile Enterprise, “We are always looking for the next disrupter.”