With lots of clients asking us about bring your device to work schemes, it is clear this consumerization or BYOD is in the spotlight.
Most of the discussions are all around the benefits and how the employees are all asking for it, fueled by Andorid and iPhone SmartPhones, as most companies using BlackBerry SmartPhones have more than enough control, if running BES or BESX.
What is very interesting is the people that are going to have to manage and support these devices are the strongest objectors. There are reasons for this and they can be quite alarming when company leaders sit back and think them through.
1. Security of the business sensitive data
With personal devices accessing the corporate networks, how do you control how this data is kept secure, will passwords be controlled by a corporate mobile device management platform, or will you rely on the individuals to keep these devices secure.
2. Who is going to take care of support issues
Most help-desk or support staff will be familiar with the devices used across the company, however who could possible be familiar and this able to support effectively any and every brand of device in the market. So expect longer delays on support issues and along with some overworked back office staff, trying to deal with these problems. Also what happens in terms of warranty and in warranty replacements? With o2 business plans users get 24 replacements on their business mobile devices, look into what the repair times are for a consumer device and you will get a shock.
3. What happens to the company data if an emplyee leaves
Something which will plague bring your device to work scheme’s will be allowing users access to corporate networks, without adequate or professionally managed protocols. Thus you could have a sales person leave the organisation, who keeps the corporate data, CRM info and such on their device, instead of being able to remote wipe, once you part company. This could be even worse if your organisation uses simple passwords, as this user has the server details and can log on, then access another users account and continue to access confidential info.
4. Access restrictions when roaming or during a working day
We are not talking about having to go to the levels of the BlackBerry Enterprise Software (BES) and have over 400 IT policies available to deploy to the business mobile users. But you need to have the ability to roll out policies to cover simple things such as roaming, apps, browsing and downloads, or else the data usage is going to cost the company a fortune.
5. Control of the costs
With personal SmartPhones we see a significant jump in users costs, why do you think most SmartPhones are offered free to consumers, when they are in fact a £400 micro computer. Quite simply because they will spend more than double this over their contract and be glad to do so, as they pull more and more content into the device. So the individual cost of running the device from the company point of view will rise, along with the loss of business work time, as individuals access their apps and content especially if they are going to use more of the cloud.
All sounds like a recipe for a huge hike in costs by allowing employees to bring their devices to work (BYOD) and indeed we see it quite simply as that, there are some mobile device management solutions out there which can help. Solutions such as BlackBerry Mobile Fusion and SaaS360 MDM, which companies can roll out in an effort to control some of the points above. However think very carefully of the impact this kind of scheme will have on your business before jumping in and getting burnt.
This article is copyright © 2013 Mike Bowers.