Is BYOD on the wane?
Is BYOD on the wane?
Contrary to popular opinion, are enterprises turning their back on bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies? Recent research from Current Analysis, presented in a webinar, suggests so. In an effort to gain control over the devices that access corporate information, it seems many businesses would rather buy the device for the user. And they're also prepared to buy the device the user wants.
The Current Analysis survey found that over three-quarters of the organizations it questioned planned to buy smartphones and tablet for their employees within the next two years. In the US, already around 17% of organizations already bought smartphones for their employees. The figures were similar in Europe.
Does this mean that enthusiasm over BYOD is starting to wane? Andrew Braunberg, Research Director, Enterprise Security and Network, Current Analysis seems to think so. "BYOD may have been as a stop-gap requirement for IT over the last couple of years," he suggests. "They were caught flatfooted by the employee demand, often at C-level, to use these devices."
who controls the device?
The survey also had results on who controls these devices in the organization. Unsurprisingly - given the results above - half of enterprises both purchase and control smartphone and tablets in the organization. This is true both today and even more so in two years' time.
More of a surprise is the third of organizations that buy the device, but leave control to the employee. "And it isn't just a temporary solution, either. Nearly the same proportion of organizations plan to do the same in two years' time, making it look like a strategic decision," said Braunberg. "Who buys the device is less important. Surely the end game needs to be gaining control. In my mind you can't secure a device that you can't manage."
Braunberg also stresses that enterprises should not confuse the issues surrounding BYOD with consumerization of IT. "Consumerization of IT reflects the number of devices out there that have originated in the consumer market - this demand is not going to go away," he explains. "The question is who controls these devices on the corporate network. A détente between employees and IT has to be reached on what level of control is acceptable."
The bulk of enterprise IT departments are still relatively unsophisticated in terms of mobile device security, according to the Current Analysis survey. In the US, the biggest security measures in place are password management (73%), device encryption (55%) and VPN software (54%). The uptake is broadly similar in Europe.
"The device-specific demand of remote wipe or lock is still relatively low (31%). This is something that the vendors are keen on, but hasn't got into enterprises yet," says Braunberg. However, he expects that more sophisticated security will increasingly be adopted on mobile devices, such as anti-virus and URL filtering, along with partitioning of personal and corporate data through virtualization.
Current Analysis also has a number of recommendations for enterprises looking at smartphones and tablets in the organization, which we will share with you here:
- accept choice in mobile devices. This attracts young talent to the organization but insist on management and security regardless of who owns the device. The idea of consumerization of IT will not go away and employees want to use the devices with which they are most productive.
- educate employees in security needs. For example, it is essential that they understand the requirement to partition corporate and personal data and applications on a device. This is critical to be able to keep corporate data safe and in many cases is a regulatory requirement.
- offer limited but popular choices of devices. Find out what devices employees want, but be selective in what to offer, based on based on carrier or billing requirements, application availability and security requirements.
- gain control with mobile device management (MDM) but start thinking about a wider solution that includes remote access, mobile application management and security features.
You can find out more about Current Analysis' research and listen to a webinar on the topic here. Check out Orange Business Services mobile device management services here.