BYOD: resistance is futile

Gary Barton – Current Analysis
Gary Barton – Current Analysis

Is 2013 the year of BYOD and MDM as Current Analysis predicted earlier this year? It sure seems that way when looking at the Ovum and Vanson Bourne BYOD research, commissioned by BT (a partner) and Cisco, especially as both IT decision makers and office workers see the benefits.

Yet, this doesn’t mean there are no challenges to be tackled. Challenges that become clear in these surveys and in Current Analysis findings. In January, Current Analysis stated this is the year when BYOD is seen as an opportunity rather than a threat. Yet, those threats remain and security is one of them.

BYOD and the victory of mobile devices

The research firm rightfully stated that the mobile device is king. In the UK, for instance, 56% of the population has access to a smartphone and 21% to a tablet. And it’s not just about the adoption of mobile devices by consumers and the clear impact of BYOD and mobile devices on the consumerization of IT. It’s also about the adoption of consumer-facing applications and the opportunities of BYOD beyond the device.

For Gary Barton, Senior Analyst on the Current Analysis Business Network and IT Services team, the implications of the adoption of mobile devices and the BYOD phenomenon can’t be overlooked anymore.

I quote: “Resistance is now well and truly futile. Young and incoming workers expect to use a tablet and a smartphone, whilst the generation of workers set to be the next batch of senior employees have become accustomed to these devices”.

Among the main BYOD challenges Current Analysis noted security. One of the answers to that challenge: Mobile Device Management or MDM. It’s indeed part of the overall challenges as the above mentioned Ovum research found them.

Ovum clearly states that BYOD is a major threat to security as 80% of BYOD activity is still going unmanaged. On top of MDM, integrated policy management, effective education, a simple experience, awareness of (new) risks and appropriate minimum-security levels for corporate access are essential to handle BYOD in a secure way.