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f5 Authors: Peter Silva, Don MacVittie, Mehdi Daoudi, Lori MacVittie, Jason Rahm

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50/50 Odds for BYOD

Employee satisfaction and productivity were cited in both surveys as a direct benefit of BYOD

According to a ComputerWorld article citing a recent Gartner survey, about half the world’s companies will stop providing computing devices to employees and embrace some form of BYOD by 2017.  They also noted that about 40% will offer a choice between employee owned or company issued while 15% say they will never support BYOD.  While most surveyed felt there were benefits to BYOD, only about a quarter (22%) felt they have made a strong business case for it.  This might have to do with the fact that many organizations are still in the exploratory process for BYOD and are looking for a mobile strategy.  In addition, many are still trying to figure out a reimbursement plan.  Employees often expense business travel and mileage, and personal smartphone use for work also falls into that category.  About half the companies provide some reimbursement with only 2% covering all costs associated with BYOD.  While removing the initial capital outlay for IT issued devices, there are still costs like security and management tools along with the support headcount for BYOD.

In another survey, Lumension’s BYOD and Mobility Security Report conducted on LinkedIn, BYOD is widely supported in 20% of organizations with another 35% saying they are evaluating it and 40% still supporting company owned mobile devices.  70% said ‘security’ was a big concern and a top criteria for success.  They worry about loss of and unauthorized access to corporate data.  Almost in line with the Gartner results and interestingly, sounds a lot like the attitudes over cloud computing the past several years.

Employee satisfaction and productivity were cited in both surveys as a direct benefit of BYOD and although not perfect, encryption, is the most used risk control measure.  Productivity tools like email, calendar and contact management are the most used by employees and some sort of centralized mobile management is the most used by IT.  Anywhere from a quarter to a third of respondents have no BYOD policy nor any tools to mange and govern mobile access.

Without digging deeply into the numbers, these BYOD feelings sound similar to the cloud adoption trends over the last few years.  It’s happening and organizations see benefits but there is hesitancy over things like security and data protection.  Once the risk is assessed and policies are in place, organizations can manage and mitigate the potential damage of allowing personal mobile devices on the sensitive corporate network.

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.