Business of IT: Building a case for BYOD

The consumerisation of IT is upon us and business and technology decision makers must now decide whether they are for or against BYOD. Stephen Pritchard considers the options.

And as well as protecting data, companies also need to pay attention to how personal devices are managed.

Colt, for example, does not install any company software or drivers on employees' personal machines, relying instead on its virtual desktop environment. But in other cases companies might need to ask for the right to wipe a lost phone, or put in place other restrictions on its use.

"Personal devices open up a couple of new issues for IT organisations," cautions Nicko van Someren, CTO at mobile device management vendor Good Technology. There is a much wider variety of personal devices in the field than you would ever have if it were corporate devices as everyone has different tastes. And you have to have ways of separating out the business data from the personal data. The enterprise needs to have control over that business data, but should not have control over personal information."

The most difficult part of a BYOD programme, though, might not be controlling data but building a business case for the moves. BYOD is usually positioned as a cost-saving measure, but doing it properly with the right security and data protection policies and steps to ensure compatibility is not cheap.

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"It is almost always possible to solve the technical challenges, but it is not possible to build a business case for BYOD on its own," says Colt's Hewertson. "We supported it by reducing hardware costs, reducing hardware support, avoiding a hardware refresh cycle and changes in how people work. It has to be part of a bigger picture."

If you're interested in finding out more about the future of enterprise mobile computing and want to get advice, insight and thought leadership on how to maximise BYOD in your organisation, look no further than this webcast.

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