Mobile Device Management and Bring Your Own Device

I’ve been working in the enterprise mobile arena for a number of years now, more recently I have been involved in working with customers, and partners in designing solutions that help them more efficiently manage their mobile assets. One area that I’ve seen quite often concerns BYOD and this is an area that’s not really considered as being a priority for enterprises. This article is based upon my experiences and I’ll endeavour to add statistics/supporting evidence as it develops.

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The real value of BYOD

I’ve always been very sceptical of BYOD. Whilst I understand why the employee wants to use their own device, there are more concerns for the employer. I feel it’s an area that whilst everyone talks about it, not everyone understands the implications. In many cases, I feel that BYOD is forced onto companies by employees not wanting to use sometimes clunky (relatively speaking), “not cool” and in some cases second-hand devices that are provided by the employers. Whilst companies do strive to keep their employees happy by accepting the use of personal devices in the workplace, this comes at a price in areas such as security, management, etc. It’s extremely difficult to control or forbid the use of employee devices in corporate networks. The larger the company, the more difficult it becomes.

Employees will come up with various excuses about using their own device on a corporate network such as, “It’s my device, I’ll look after it better” or “I’m more productive” even “I never liked that that man anyway, I’d never use his OS” but this forces a situation that could be untenable onto the employer.

In this age of consumerism and rapid advances in technology, people always want the latest and greatest devices to play with and to also use in their work environment. Companies are, quite rightly, more hesitant in changing devices over shorter timeframes due to cost and would prefer to implement policies whereby devices are depreciated over time (3 years seems to be the industry average)

However, in opening up BYOD to employees, policies do need to be put into place. Areas that need to be addressed include:

  1. Tax and cost implications
  2. Management of devices
  3. Protection of company data and assets
  4. Device support
  5. Application management and support
  6. Device security policies

This is just for starters. As I develop this tech tidbit blog, I’ll add to this and will start to go over the points above in more detail. In the meantime, the following articles from techrepublic and zdnet make interesting reading.


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Danger, Will Robinson! Beware the hidden perils of BYOD – The Register

A very nice clear article on the dangers of BYOD by theregister. However, there are more MDM platforms out there that will help companies sandbox confidential or sensitive data or applications, such as AirWatch, etc. Additionally the article doesn’t address the fact that there is still the need for the adoption of clear BYOD policies in companies, which is still an issue in the marketplace.

Danger, Will Robinson! Beware the hidden perils of BYOD – The Register.

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