"There's going to be a big requirement to re-think the architecture. This is why the MDM thing is a stopgap, really. ... Nobody worries about security at Salesforce.com. So if I can rely on that service provider to protect my data, then I don't need to put a 'kludge' [stopgap] in place," he says.
And since that service is available across many platforms, it's a lot more easily accessible from whatever hardware is available. This "multi-device" phenomenon, according to Schadler, is illustrated in a survey from Forrester of roughly 10,000 global information workers.
Another thing that will likely drive mobile services toward the cloud is the frustration of trying to provision them in the traditional way.
"You've got to tunnel through the firewall, you've got to federate, you've got to give permission on a case-by-case basis, it's horrible," Schadler says.
"You don't have to have an on-prem box behind the firewall to do this anymore. All this stuff now can be managed in the cloud if you want to do that," agrees Roberts.
Make a plan
So what's to be done? To start with, Roberts says, companies need to have a clear plan in place before they start making difficult decisions about MDM systems or BYOD policies.
"You really need to define what you're trying to get done," he says.
A recent blog post from Red Hat's cloud computing team says much the same thing, urging an "acceptance" of the inevitability of BYOD.
"In most cases, BYOD is going to require IT departments to do some combination of rolling out new products, educating users and adopting new processes. At the very least, they need to understand potential exposures and come up with a plan for dealing with them. But just saying "no" isn't a realistic option for the large majority of organizations. And that means acceptance is the only reasonable path forward," they write.
Importantly, making those plans will likely have to involve IT working closely with other departments.
"It's not a decision that IT can just circle the wagons and figure out," Accenture's Osman says. "Your buying behavior for personal technology is very different from IT's buying behavior for corporate technology."