The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

The opportunity for BYOD – how do you view it?

mobile worker.pngBYOD is not really something all that new, we’ve been talking about it for years now (this is a post I put out almost 3 years ago). One of the first questions you should question is how you view the problem: Is it an opportunity for you to meet the needs of your users or an opportunity for some nefarious individual to get access to the enterprise data? Admitting your perspective will give you a better understanding of what you need to do to fully take advantage of the opportunities available.

 

For those that view making the user’s life easier is one of the most important roles of IT – there is much more to it than that. A BYOD approach must include the HR (codes of conduct), purchasing and licensing policies to protect everyone involved. The protection of the corporate information is definitely critical and there are numerous approaches available today with more on the horizon. Some techniques may involve the ability to wipe the entire device remotely. The employees need to know that so they don’t lose important aspects of their personal life like the photos of last summer’s vacation – although this is rarely necessary, stranger things have happened. They’ll not take this as easy.

 

For those who view data protection as paramount, you also need to admit that the data that no one can access also has the least value. The reason we collect all this information is to use it for something. If people are forced to carry multiple devices so IT can have a façade of greater security, it will likely be a short term situation. Others are addressing the situation, so you don’t need to start with a blank sheet of paper. The integration of personal data and corporate data will be happening, especially since self-tracking and body hacking are becoming common and all these devices have sensors that generate the context of what’s going on around them. These techniques are going to continue to expand as well. Can they be used by the enterprise to provide even more information that needs to be protected?

 

There is also a camp that believes that you’ll save money with a BYOD approach, because the employees are more productive or the employees take on more of the responsibility for the purchase and operations of the devices. How do you handle the situation when the employee decides to opt out? There are possibilities for cost savings but building a case is not trivial -- your mileage may vary.

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