BYOD: a nightmare waiting to happen?

A new study by Altodigital has revealed a potential IT nightmare waiting to happen as educational institutions fail to properly manage BYOD

The research revealed that despite the BYOD (bring your own devices) trend continuing to surge with more than two thirds (71%) of establishments admitting to ‘bringing their own devices’, almost a third (30%) are still without a specific IT strategy in place to manage the process, putting their IT systems at detrimental risk. 

Mobile printing – an application of BYOD and something 20% of teaching staff are currently doing and a further 47% are planning to – presents even more serious security implications if not properly managed, especially if staff are usingunproven and un-tested mobile print software as 32% are. Just 15% said they used company-approved software for mobile printing.

It appears both these factors could becausing some serious problems; 39% of respondents within the education sector admitted they had faced IT problems as a result of this lack of strategy; the most common being network security breaches or viruses (71%), network and connectivity issues (48%) and lack of email or internet access (23%).

The study, which questioned 89 decision-makers in the education sector across the UK, was commissioned by Altodigital to help it better understand emerging document and print trends within the legal sector.

Tony Burnett, group sales director at Altodigital, said: “BYOD is not a new trend, and as the research shows, it is enjoying widespread adoption amongalmost all sectors.

“However, despite this, it’s staggering that so fewschools and universities in such a security-sensitive sector have a dedicated policy in place to appropriately cope with this, especially given the very real IT and security issues that can be caused as a result. In fact, of those without a BYOD strategy currently in place, 46% said they had no plans to develop one at all.

“However, we don’t want people to be put off from embracing BYOD, and applications such as mobile printing can present enormous benefits to the educational sector. Securely managing the process does not need to be overly complicated, and we expect to see IT departments within theeducational sectorincreasingly integrating secure mobile print applications as part of their broader BYOD strategy in 2014.”