Feature Article

October 24, 2012

BYOD is Going Unmanaged

I’ve often spoken of the benefits of BYOD, and how it’s been growing in demand and use. There’s no denying that BYOD is here and there’s no going back, but it’s very important that companies implement security and policies to make sure the devices, and the valuable data within them, are safe.

At this point, nearly 70 percent of all professionals with smartphones use their personal devices to access company data. Out of those, only 20 percent were having their BYOD activity managed properly, with the rest having inadequate or no security. Nearly half of them have IT departments that were ignorant to BYOD, willfully or otherwise, with around 8 percent of them discouraging it.

But discouraging BYOD is about as effective as encouraging a horse and buggy over the automobile; time stops for no man or company.

What we see here are two things: the first is some IT departments trying to row against the current; the second is others going with the current in a leaky canoe and deny that they’re sinking. The 20 percent who not only accept BYOD, but implement policies and programs to protect their data – those are the ones cruising ahead.

Now, IT departments may have concerns about the complexity of dealing with multiple devices, and the time it will take to set up every employee who wants to use their own. Yes, it may take a while, and it will not be fun. But we’re talking about important company data here, not just the stats for the engineering department’s fantasy football team.

It’s important that devices be kept protected, should the worst happen.

“The way people work will have a profound effect on how BYOD is rolled out and managed within an organization,” says Richard Absalom, senior analyst at Ovum. “As such, it’s imperative that IT departments act quickly to develop and implement clear policies governing BYOD. BYOD can provide an added advantage in terms of productivity and efficiency but to do this it will be important to get the right blend of process, policy, people, and technology management.”

There’s no stopping BYOD. Employees like it, they want it and they’ll use their own devices whether or not IT wants them to. It’s important that companies are prepared to keep their data safe when on employee devices. Stay safe, and stay productive.

Edited by Braden Becker

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