BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) seems to be on many companies’ minds these days. With the deluge of smartphones, tablets and other personal devices, it’s almost impossible to avoid it. Is BYOD an essential tool in the CIO toolkit, or just the next flashy trend to catch the end-user eye?
I think that BYOD is going to become an ever-bigger part of the corporate IT landscape….and even if resistance is futile, there are several things to remember to have a successful BYOD strategy.
1) BYOD is nothing new. Just like Cloud is the next evolution of managed services, BYOD is just the corporate acknowledgement that people will gravitate to what works best for them, whether you provide it or not. People have been sneaking their personally-owned devices into the office for years, and with the ubiquity of Wi-Fi from businesses like the eatel business, broadband and home networking, users are more savvy than ever. They want to be able to work anywhere, anytime, and will do whatever they can to achieve that.
2) It’s nothing to be afraid of – even though allowing personal devices increases risk somewhat, better to allow and manage it than to act as if it doesn’t happen. If a device can be put on your network, someone will figure out how to do it. There are a number of management tools out there that can help you successfully integrate personal devices into your network while managing the added risk. Check out this summary from CIO.com.
3) Really, it’s all about the data. People choose their devices because they work for them….but they connect to your network because of the data. If you base your strategy around having robust, secure data and applications on the back end, it makes things much easier and more flexible for allowing different devices on the front end. Sure, it’s an increased risk to allow access from personal devices, but it is no less secure than allowing access to web-based e-mail. Put good tools and policies in place, and educate the heck out of your customers to get them on your side in managing the risk.
It’s nothing new, you can manage it, and it’s all about the data. Get the right tools, communicate frequently with your customers to know what works for them, and make it a partnership. Do that, and you can work through the growing pains of incorporating BYOD into your enterprise.
What do YOU think? How do you successfully integrate BYOD into your environment?