by Peter Schay, President and CEO of TAC.
I live on the East Coast of the U.S. When it comes to natural disasters, this part of the country rarely gets tornados or earthquakes (at least not damaging earthquakes), but every few years we do get a hurricane.
As natural disasters go, hurricanes have a “feature” not shared by tornados or earthquakes — you know when they are coming. As such, you can prepare for them.
In this regard, bring-your-own-device is like a hurricane. You can’t stop it, but you can be ready for it.
Unless you have a extraordinarily regimented (e.g., military) organizational culture — and the IT and physical security to match — you are not going to stop BYOD from happening. Failure to actively support it will simply lead to security exposures and dissatisfied users (some undoubtedly in senior management). Moreover, unless you currently pay the mobile service charges for company-owned devices, and refuse to pay them for BYOD, IT costs are going to go up.
TAC thought leader Beth Cohen advises, “Rather than attempting to halt the demand, the smarter path is to embrace BYOD’s by providing a safe and secure framework for their use. This framework should have two complementary components: a BYOD policy and the technology framework and administration software to enforce it. An official corporate BYOD policy would not be dissimilar to the corporate security policy. To make it easier, some companies just incorporate their BYOD device policies directly into their standard security policy that all employees are expected to adhere to. The key to successful enforcement is the implementation of the proper MDM [mobile device management] software.”
You may not like it (after all, who except weather junkies likes hurricanes), but you can put in place the BYOD policies and mobile device management technologies to successfully weather the BYOD storm. TAC has helped clients successfully address BYOD issues (policies, device management, security, etc.) in industries ranging from manufacturing to professional services. If you’re struggling with BYOD issues, contact us — we can also help you.