In just a few years, bring your own device (BYOD)
programs have gone from being rarities to commonplace in business and government. In fact, by 2017, more than half of enterprises will require their employees to supply their own devices for work, according to the results of a global survey
of CIOs by Gartner Inc. This survey also notes that enterprises that only offer “corporate-liable” programs will soon be the exception.
Additionally, as bring your own device programs become the norm, 38% of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016, according to Gartner.
“BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades,” according to 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.”
The bring your own device movement is present in companies and governments of all sizes, although it’s most commonplace in mid-size and large organizations ($500 million to $5 billion in revenue, with 2,500 to 5,000 employees), according to the survey -- and organizations in the US are twice as likely to allow BYOD as those in Europe, where the adoption of BYOD is the lowest of all the regions.
“However, the business case for BYOD needs to be better evaluated,” Willis said. “If you are offering BYOD, take advantage of the opportunity to show the rest of the organization the benefits it will bring to them and to the business.”
The top concern for CIOs when it comes to BYOD is security, according to Gartner. Sure, CIOs want to embrace employee choice and promote a mobile workforce because they understand that it makes their workers more effective and more productive -- but they also want to ensure that their corporate data isn't at risk.
So what’s a worried CIO to do?
The best approach to protecting sensitive company data is through a mobile application management
(MAM) policy used in conjunction with an enterprise app store
As a security-focused BYOD strategy, mobile application management lets IT secure and control company data by managing enterprise apps
used to access corporate data. This puts employees in control of their own mobile devices while ensuring their personal information and apps are left untouched.
With MAM, organizations can encrypt, set, and enforce policies for enterprise apps including how they store and share documents. So go with the flow of the bring your own device movement -- it only makes sense -- but be sure you take the necessary steps to ensure your corporate data is secure on your employees’ mobile devices.