It’s a sort of trendy move for businesses to go BYOD, or bring your own device. We hear a lot about it in technology; the proliferation of mobile devices, cutting costs, less to manage, happier, more productive employees. But is this BYOD trend all hype and without actual benefit? Some say yes, and that we’ll see it go by the wayside.
Phil Cracknell, head of security and privacy services at Company 85, thinks BYOD is out of control, according to CBR Online. Why? CIOs are giving into the BYOD movement under pressure from decision-makers and employees, but no one is actually doing a cost analysis of implementing a BYOD program. It’s basically a battle between the finance guys and the tech guys.
So, will it survive? Contrary to what a lot of people are saying, Cracknell thinks it will be gone in three years’ time.
BYOD is one of those things that’s still too new to predict whether it will be awesome or whether it’s just going to be a burden for most companies. Perhaps it’s beneficial to the small business guy, but it’s a total wash for the big enterprise guys. BYOD has its checkpoints in the good and bad columns, and its pros and cons need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
BYOD is a movement powered by users. IT departments typically controlled the mobile devices that were allowed on the corporate floor, but the shoe is now on the other foot. Today’s dynamic mobile ecosystem spoils the average user with an overabundance of choices. They pick mobile devices and conveniently use them to access corporate and personal e-mails, applications and documents.
For the larger enterprise, managing a fleet of devices, none of which are on the same operating system, could be cumbersome, problematic and a security risk. If everyone is bringing their own equipment, even if there is a standard approach to the type of equipment, it is still pretty much inevitable that the brand and/or configuration of each device will vary, and with this comes varying functionality and different speeds of throughput and performance. With varying types of equipment, and dissimilar configurations and software levels, come a wide variety of technological hurdles.
For the small business, BYOD makes sense. There are less people to manage, ergo, less devices, and the cost-savings benefit for the SMB keeping a watchful eye on the bottom line is perhaps a good move. Rather than the organization paying for an additional device and a service contract, they can shift the cost to the user. Organizations might choose to pay nothing, only pay for the service contract, or perhaps provide an allowance to employees who wish to use their personal device for work purposes.
So, is BYOD going to phase out? It’s too premature to tell. Maybe we can expect to see the perfection of mobile device management solutions and take the worry and hassle out of BYOD.
There really isn’t an all-in-one BYOD security strategy. To say it’s going to be dead in three years is a bit extreme. There are case studies proving how it works wonderfully and others that say it’s a bust. It’s in its infancy, and we can expect to see a lot of changes before we see it shoo itself out the door.