The concept of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies is pretty straightforward: employees using their personal technology including laptops, smartphones and tablets for work functions. It sounds easy enough, and on the surface it is. However, when many IT departments hear that their company is considering a widespread BYOD policy, it’s inevitable that some might hear the “Jaws” theme playing in the back of their minds.
The security concerns, device management protocols and application development requirements involved in a BYOD program have some IT executives running for the hills. Robin Bienfait, the CIO of BlackBerry – a major player in the BYOD trend – said in a recent interview that BYOD is the one thing that keeps her up at night, and as a result, Research In Motion employees – the company behind BlackBerry – are not allowed to use their own devices for work functions.
“The flood of personal mobile devices into the enterprise over the last couple of years is a frightening prospect for IT teams used to standardized IT environments and control of corporate computing devices,” wrote Fred Donovan in a recent editorial for Fierce Mobile IT – an IT blog.
He went on to call BYOD a “frightful phantom” and the “boogeyman.” Now while Donovan may just be getting into the Halloween spirit with his comments, it does not take away from the fact that BYOD policies are not going away and IT departments will need to face the security challenges that they present sooner rather than later.
In a recent article for Datamation, Jeff Vance compared BYOD acceptance to the five stages of guilt: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In the end, BYOD is nothing for IT departments to be afraid of, just understood and managed. IT consulting companies can help frightened IT decision makers get a better look at how a BYOD solution can benefit their business.
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