The number of personally-owned iPads, iPhones, and other mobile devices that professionals bring into office is expected to more than double between now and 2014. That means the businesses that have so far been lax about considering or planning an official bring your own device (BYOD) program and/or establishing security policies around BYOD are going to need to play catch up – and they’ll need to get started as soon as possible.
There are plenty of stories out there about the explosive growth of mobile technology in the workplace. The trend towards bring your on device (BYOD) models in which employees are allowed or encouraged to bring their own iPhones, iPads, and other devices into the office is driving a massive expansion of the number of mobile devices used for work tasks. At the same time, the annual (or even more frequent) device an OS release cycles that have become common are driving up diversity of devices and resetting the mobile technology playing field every few months.
That constant change is forcing the IT professionals to adapt to new devices, apps, use cases, network models, and security threats faster than anything the IT industry has ever seen.
This is particularly visible in the mobile management space. A year ago, the primary method for handling mobile device and data security was to manage and lock down the device itself using one of dozens of mobile device management (MDM) suites on the market. Over the past six to nine months, however, MDM has been replaced by mobile app management (MAM) as the best way to secure business data. That’s a warp-speed transition in the mindset and goals of IT professionals.
The number of companies investing in mobile management and security solutions related to bring your own device (BYOD) programs is growing, but not nearly as fast as the number of companies that are actually offering BYOD to their employees. The result is that many companies are putting themselves and their data at risk by jumping onto the BYOD bandwagon too quickly and without properly securing employee iPhones, iPads, and other devices or the business data that is stored on them.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken a look at a couple of studies that show how the iPhone, iPad, and other consumer technologies that are being embraced at the office are shifting the work/life balance for most professionals. The always connected and available capabilities that our mobile technologies engender are pushing us towards more work and less life.
The first study showed that professionals using an iPhone, iPad, or other mobile devices on the job and at home often put in enough extra time during “off hours” to equal an extra day’s worth of work each week. The second study showed that many of us tend to bring work with us on vacation in the form of an iPhone or iPad (both of which are great for travel), a laptop, or even just cloud-based access to work resources.
Do bring your own device (BYOD) programs that allow or encourage users to bring their personal iPhones, iPads, and other devices into the workplace reduce costs or do they drive costs up because of the need for mobile management, training, and technical support?
That fundamental question has been the source of a lot of debate, numerous studies, and a lot of sleepless nights for CIOs and IT managers.
The truth is that this is a question that’s difficult, if not impossible, to answer definitively. There are many variables involved in developing and implementing a BYOD policy or program.