Gartner Sees Enterprise Shifting to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy

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News Posted: Thu, May 2 2013 9:16 AM
Tired of having to use work-issued hardware day after day when your own gear is better suited to the task? Don't sweat it, bring your own device (BYOD) programs are growing in popularity in the enterprise, and by 2016, 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers, according to a recent global survey of CIOs conducted by market research firm Gartner.

"BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades," said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs."

For the purposes of the survey, Gartner defines a BYOD strategy as one that allows employees and business partners to use their own personally bought devices to run enterprise applications and access work data. This usually encompasses smartphones and tablets, but it could also be used for desktop and laptop PCs.


One of the major upsides for business owners and management is that it allows them to increase their mobile workforce with minimal out-of-pocket expense. Smartphones are fairly commonplace these days, so it makes sense from a business perspective to tap into these existing resources.

"The enterprise should subsidize only the service plan on a smartphone," said Mr. Willis. "What happens if you buy a device for an employee and they leave the job a month later? How are you going to settle up? Better to keep it simple. The employee owns the device, and the company helps to cover usage costs."

Willis isn't alone in his thinking. By 2017, Gartner predicts half of employers will require their workers to supply any necessary electronic devices for work purposes.
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Sounds like it reduces cost, but with all the devices being different, you will need more support staff and hardware t support them. Software solutions that cater to the various platforms to keep everything secure. That is also a major cost.

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3vi1 replied on Fri, May 3 2013 8:36 AM

I personally think it's a horrible idea to let users connect personal devices for which you have no control over the security or hardening.

Who knows what company sensitive information might be left laying in email or offline docs that could then be hacked later when the device leaves your protected network and gets connected to the internet at their home. And, you have to offset extra risk by installing a bunch of 802.1x, IPS and SIEM systems, that are probably only going to alert you after the fact.

But sure... CEO wants to use their iPad or WinPhone... whatever.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


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eunoia replied on Mon, May 6 2013 12:07 PM

"The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs."

I can see this happening, but it's mostly because there are so many crappy CIOs out there. Gartner's saying companies are scratching their heads to find a way to identify technological opportunities, use IT tools to increase employee productivity and even leverage their purchasing power. Only 38% of CIOs don't have a clue? I thought it was higher, but clearly the qualified ones aren't getting enough recognition if this idea catches on.


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If everything were available in properly working web-apps with 100% functionality in all browsers it wouldn't matter what device was being used. Security as usual is always a complete PITA. I nearly laughed when I saw some cisco portal where any employee could login via a browser and register their own device to connect to the corporate network. simply by filling out a form.



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