December 04, 2012, 8:51 PM — This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.
Online and offline, in IT departments and across organizations, the bring your own device (BYOD) debate is raging.
Bring your own device, the business policy of allowing employees to use personal mobile devices for work purposes -- accessing privileged, private and proprietary company information and resources -- is gaining increasing traction and adoption. For smaller businesses without the resources to purchase company devices, it is probably a necessity. Enterprise-size companies generally have the staff and bandwidth to manage the challenges it presents.
IN DEPTH: 7 BYOD policy essentials
BYOD TREND: Contain the data, not the device
But make no mistake: For midsize businesses, BYOD is the new way to spell risk. And often, that risk could be substantial. Proponents and advocates of the policy are quick to cite the efficiency it drives. It is also true that jumping out the window is far more efficient than walking down all those stairs. The real question is not what allows something to happen more quickly or easily, it is about the overall result -- and potential damage -- of the actions taken.
For the already harried IT staffs at midsize businesses, BYOD presents an exponential increase in new and troubling issues and challenges. Consequently, more and more of them are raising the red flag about the security risks, time management and ethical concerns that BYOD brings to bear at companies already racing to keep pace with their expanding data, storage and infrastructure needs.