5 BYOD Myths

This is the 12th post in my series on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solutions (who knew it could stretch this far!). Here I want to briefly examine some of the myths about BYOD that are current in organisations and in the mobility marketplace.

  1. BYOD requires Mobile Device Management (MDM). It doesn’t. If your risk profile is low, you can get away with some policies and employee honesty (“have you put a password on your phone?” – “Yes”). For other organisations with particular profiles, other tools may well be perfectly appropriate. Don’t be sucked into a vendor sales pitch that says the only way to deliver BYOD is by investing in their tool – you may not need it.
  2. MDM delivers BYOD. No, in many cases MDM alone isn’t enough to deliver a usable BYOD solution. MDM is all about managing the device – but you don’t really want to do this. That is just treating your employees’ devices as if they were corporate owned devices, which is in many ways anathema to the idea of BYOD. What you really want to do is secure and manage the data and applications, the device should be irrelevant. Unfortunately today’s technology is not quite there, so you may be forced to rely on an MDM solution to fill the gap.
  3. The solution to BYOD is available here and now. Again, some vendors are pushing this myth (I wonder why?), but it isn’t really the case. We can’t solve the BYOD problem with any particular product yet. The technology is still immature and evolving. Give it a year or two and things might be different.
  4. BYOD can be solved with a technology solution. This myth mostly comes from customer organisations eager to put a solution in place without bothering the wider business. Some software vendors are pushing this line, but most are clear on the idea that BYOD requires significant non-technology pieces: policy and behaviour. If you don’t address these, then your solution won’t fix the problems that drive BYOD.
  5. Virtual Desktops give you BYOD. A couple of years ago this idea was being promoted by virtualisation vendors, but they seem to have realised that this is really a lame duck. Again, this is sometimes promulgated by customers who have invested in (or are justifying investing in) a virtual desktop solution. While virtual desktops can form part of an overall BYOD toolkit, but they will only ever be a specialised or marginal part of it. The whole reason I am bringing my own device to work is because I don’t think that your corporate windows desktop meets my needs. So, giving me the ability to access it from my iPad isn’t really a solution is it?

One Comment to “5 BYOD Myths”

  1. Suggestions for Business perspective myths:

    1. BYOD will enable me to continue using my device as I have previously without impact on user experience (my experience of the solutions available in the market is that they are immature, we will get there, but it will take some time)

    2. The company will save a lot of money by adopting BYOD (employees will use their own funds to buy devices). You can’t focus on the device costs alone, adopting BYOD will force changes in the IT organization (both people/process/technology) that might offset savings in the device space some examples:
    Connectivity requirements such as VPN
    Authentication/Authorization infrastructure
    There will be support costs associated with the BYOD program, eating smaller/larger chunks from the profitability of the program (everything from failed sync’s of email to inability to connect to some VDI solution and what not)
    if warranties are voided (BYOD and Consumer Law) due to the usage of the device for work purposes, this might lead to unhappy employees, driving cost in mitigation actions or replacement of broken device.. /(haven’t thought this through properly)

    3. Getting too tired to formulate complete myths but there is a myth that unclear legal situation regarding ownership of information between business/employee when information gets stored on the device can be mitigated by contracts/policies between the business/employee. If its unclear its unclear, without a legal ruling it could swing either way. Dont believe you can implement BYOD without proper infrastructure in place. (if you have any sensitive information atleast, ofcourse i agree with the other perspective aswell, BYOD cannot be solved by infrastructure alone)

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