July 06, 2012, 3:35 PM — Regardless if you call it the consumerization of IT or
the bring your own device (BYOD)
movement, the trend of people using their own mobile devices to access corporate resources is unstoppable. Some
users (guests) simply want to check their social networks, while others (employees) want to connect to their
organizations' sales applications and other
business apps while on the road. Many organizations have tried to fight the tide, but it's a losing battle.
Let's be honest -- users are controlling the IT security agenda, like it or not. They love their devices and
the apps on them, and they want to use them at work. Clearly, vendors and enterprises alike have recognized this is
more than a fad and are fueling the secondary driving force behind BYOD: the potential to make and/or save money by
capitalizing on the movement.
TECH DEBATE: Dictate the mobile device or let the
Allowing employees to bring their own devices to work means cost-savings for corporations as it gives
them the ability to avoid the expense of buying or leasing the devices themselves. These savings do come at a cost
however; personal devices still need to be controlled and managed -- hence the enormous vendor revenue
Make no mistake about it, it won't be long before there will be unfathomable numbers of these devices to control
and manage throughout the corporate world. In a recent report, Gartner predicted that 90% of businesses will support corporate
applications on mobile devices by 2014. And Cisco survey
data suggests that we can expect to see 3.47 devices per person in 2015 and a whopping 6.58 devices per person in
2020. This begs the question: How many devices per person will the enterprise ultimately need to manage?
With this in mind, let's take a look at the basic options for addressing the BYOD phenomenon. With minor
investments and relatively simple changes to infrastructure and processes, organizations can choose to:
- Block all
devices that have not been provisioned by the corporation.