BYOD – a compromise between security and convenience.

November 1, 2011

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is here. 60% of companies are enabling BYOD, according to a July 2011 Forrester Research survey. There is an explosion of mobile devices in the enterprise – devices both corporate- and personally-owned. Mobility boosts employee productivity, but it also opens the doors for security, legal and privacy concerns. Devices security, anti-malware, data protection, and theft preventions are topping the list of interest for security and corporate risk professionals.

For BYOD concept, virtualization might just be the answer to overworked budgets and user satisfaction. Even if the idea of supporting employee-owned smartphones, tablets and notebooks is a management nightmare, BYOD is an inevitable reality, and it affect the way your organization approaches mobile technology and conducts Mobile Device Management (MDM), or Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM).

After reading : BYOD: Reality vs. Pipe Dream Great Debate (between Ken Hess and Heather Clancy), 5 Ways ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Will Impact Your Company, and The answer to the BYOD questions is Virtualization, I just wanted to put a list general list of considerations for this subject together .

Building your company’s mobile strategy will require vision and a long-term commitment.

Excellent points by Heather:

  • Your technology upgrade cycles will be shorter.
  • You will need to support more devices, not fewer.
  • You need to rethink how you distribute applications.
  • You can’t ignore mobile security.
  • You need to rethink the concept of mobility.

More feedback from blog comments:

  • A well-defined company IT policy is critical to prevent management overload on IT.
  • Software license management will become an even larger priority than ever before.
  • BYOD means many different configurations to support.

Here is an interesting list from one of the solution providers (MobileAdmin) to the Great Debate on why their company chose to withdraw from BYOD strategy, that I wanted to list as-is:

  1. Lack of employee interest (our program is not subsidized).
  2. Increased employee cost (international data usage).
  3. Ongoing concerns over personal “space” and needing to adhere to corporate security.
  4. Limited to salary employees (bulk of mobile users are hourly/contractor).
  5. Unable to use corporate WiFi due to long standing security policy.
  6. Not able to support every device users want.
  7. Remote erase /password enforcement.
  8. Need for extended warranty (laptops).
  9. No loaner if laptop / tablet breaks.

There seem to be a consensus among different responders (myself included) that it would be best to have company-issued mobile/smart devices and for personal use by employees, limited by reasonable use policies, rather then having an array of various, often incompatible, devices and applications and face costly IT and HR management challenges.


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