The BYOD trend continues to prove that employees will take any and all steps to be productive, whether their IT managers realize it or not.
Recent research from Ovum suggests that IT administrators are totally unaware of around 30 to 35 percent of all employee-owned devices being brought into the workplace. That means company data is potentially being exposed to and shared on devices that many IT admins don't even know exist.
On top of that, 22 percent of full-time employees use their own file sync and share app to store work data. As a result, SMB data is potentially being stored in locations that are completely invisible to the IT manager.
Ovum consulting director Adrian Drury told ZDnet last month that common consumer habits are bleeding over into the workplace. For example, many workers are using multiple screens at a time to accomplish work tasks, much in the same way they might use a smartphone, television, or tablet at home.
The point being, whether you want to watch TV or send a work email, you're most likely to use whatever device is most convenient to you at that particular time.
And when they need to share something, employees are inclined to simply help themselves and use whatever app is already at their fingertips - even if it's not the most secure option for the business. It's all part of the push for more productivity.
In the process of trying to accomplish more, SMBs risk losing control and oversight of their data. But while data sprawl can have severe consequences - resulting in lost files, regulatory violations, and lost revenue - IT services providers probably won't have much luck taking a hard-line approach on BYOD with their SMB customers.
Instead, you're likely to have more success by working with your SMBs rather than against them. The IT conversation with SMBs needs to shift more toward productivity regardless, so MSPs and VARs that ride the trend and communicate with their clients can introduce solutions that meet workers' need for productivity but also help rein in data sprawl.
All that requires the ability to consult your clients and solutions that work best for both the company and the employee.