Donate Your Own Device: Both IT and Employees Agree that BYOD is DUMB

IT dislikes it because it’s a security nightmare. Employees dislike it because now yet another organization has its fingers in the pie of its personal electronics. Why is BYOD hailed as such a great idea?

  • BYOD? IT Says Slow Down
  • No BYOD at For-Profit Company
  • No BYOD atLocal Government
  • The Value of Controls & Standards

BYOD? IT Says Slow Down

Seven out of ten IT decision-makers (70%) want to wait for third-platform technology to mature and to prove its data-protection capabilities rather than immediately incorporating BYOD into the office, says an analysis by UK tech publication Computing . More people have been converted to the cause, though, since eight out of ten (80%) were anti-BYOD in the magazine’s 2012 poll.

One in two (50%) think that in 2018, they will still be against an open-access network policy that incorporates whatever smartphone or laptop the employee is using when they walk in the door. Why do just three in ten currently say it’s OK to allow ultimate freedom to the individual user now (and really, who cares about any optimism toward three years from now)?

Data protection is fundamental to this debate. Mobility and the immediate concern of on-the-go security have been of increasing concern to big business since the first appearance of the iPhone in 2007. That’s part of the reason that you see mobility – along with big data analytics, cloud computing, and social networking – listed as one of the four pillars of the new wave of computing, the so-called third platform .

Because of the rise of smartphones and tablets, explains Computing’s Peter Gothard, mobility monitoring solutions such as Airwatch and Good have cropped up to provide some method to the madness.

However, companies like cutting costs by using employee-owned devices, and marketing the notion of phone choice can potentially help with recruitment.

No BYOD at For-Profit Company

You want everyone in the company to be proud of the workplace culture, argues Reed.co.uk CIO Mark Ridley.

Reed, a staffing company, is conducting a complete review of the technology that accesses its intranet – looking at all computers rather than just mobile, which it protects using Airwatch.

“The next step is how we could do this with a choose-your-own-device policy, augmenting the choices you make with our own funding,” says Ridley.

As of right now, though, Reed does not allow people to use whatever equipment they want.

So that employees don’t start to become convinced that they work for an Amish firm, the company has attempted to strike a compromise: slightly more than 50% of the workforce carries Google Chromebooks that are kept in recharging compartments.

Employees will grab one on the way to the conference room or to work on a project over a lunch break.

In addition to the Chromebooks, Reed now has a fleet of iPads for when people don’t want to lug around a PC.

“Bring your own device” initially meant that people wanted to be able to check their email with their phones. Now it’s become integrated into operations.

Gothard said that people want to work at companies that have cool equipment, giving the example of young computer scientists feeling unsure about a company that doesn’t have its own data center or otherwise remind them of the private network with four monitors they have running in their basements.

It would be great if everyone could have 100% computing freedom, says Ridley, provided that basic business standards – cost, security, and efficiency – are met.

In fact, it’s too simple to assume that everyone wants BYOD. Many employees hate the idea because they want to be able to separate their personal and professional lives.

“If you look at a lot of people, they’ll walk into a meeting room with two phones,” Ridley explains. “They like that segregation, and they want to keep working that way. ”

No BYOD at Local Government

The county government of Shropshire Council (in the West Midlands of England) closed the door to BYOD in December 2013, according to IT director Barry Wilkinson. He said it was simply too challenging to fit limitless devices within the mechanisms of the Public Services Network, the essential platform of the United Kingdom’s public sector.

Wilkinson says that he and his colleagues talked about how it should be called DYOD for “donate your own device,” since the organization is pulling every employee’s personal electronics into its clutches like a hoarder with junk mail.

Wilkinson fretted about taking home his own tablet, putting a bunch of personal images on it, and then having to clear out all the data if it were stolen. He hated the notion that someday he might have to do the same to a coworker’s mobile device.

“That’s not a nice element to have to patrol,” he comments.

To read Part 2 of this article, please click HERE.

The Value of Controls & Standards

Nobody wants another organization latched onto its device, with creepy access to personal data. Meanwhile, the IT team doesn’t want to have to deal with the borderline impossible complexity of infinite choice. BYOD is dumb. Let’s talk about solutions that make more sense: cloud virtual machines based on internationally recognized standards.

With Superb Internet, get your own cloud VM, one that is delivered via international parameters you can trust, through three world-class SSAE 16 audited datacenters.

By Kent Roberts

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