More employees using personal devices for work, new study finds

According to a new Gartner study, nearly 40 percent of U.S. professionals who work for large companies use their personal devices for at least some work purposes. The report, which included surveys of more than 4,300 American consumers, looked into technology use and attitudes toward mobile devices.

The study found that only a quarter of employees using their personal devices for work do so because they are required to by their employers.

The study went on to reveal that there are an estimated 770 million devices in the U.S., and that number will likely grow in the next 12 months. Gartner's research found that 32 percent of survey participants are planning to purchase a smartphone over the next year, 23 percent intend to buy a new laptop or notebook and 20 percent are looking to get a new tablet in that time period.

"While this is a large number, it is still a small portion of the potential number of Internet of Things devices people will own in five years' time," said Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Newer devices for the connected home and personal trackers are coming to market — these are the seeds of growth — not only for purchasing devices, but also for associated services and apps."

Mobile applications are also witnessing an increase in popularity, experiencing an rise in downloads.  The study found that 80 percent of consumers have downloaded an application in the last year.

Employees finds their own devices better suited for work
The report suggests that a growing number of employees are using their personal devices for work because they are better suited, more powerful and better equipped for the job than devices provided by the company. The survey highlights the need for enterprises to employ bring-your-own-device policies and the security procedures to protect the network devices connect to.

"The lines between work and play are becoming more and more blurred as employees choose to 'use their own device' for work purposes whether sanctioned by an employer or not," said Sabia. "Devices that were once bought purely for personal use are increasingly being used for work and technology vendors and service providers need to respond to this."

Companies looking to benefit from the advantages of implementing BYOD policies while avoiding the security risks that come along with them can utilize a third-party service provider to roll out an enterprise BYOD platform. By professionally developing infrastructure and policies for mobile device use, employees are more aware of the associated security risks and networks are better prepared for the new level of traffic.