4 Keys to BYOD Success
We all love our gadgets, but some of our favorite devices, however innocent they may appear, are poised to overwhelm IT departments worldwide.
Thu, February 28, 2013
PC World — We all love our gadgets, but some of our favorite devices, however innocent they may appear, are poised to overwhelm IT departments worldwide.
Like it or not, the "bring your own device," or BYOD, trend is now a permanent fixture among businesses big and small. Sure, some companies still prohibit employees from integrating personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones into their IT infrastructures, but their numbers are quickly dwindling. BYOD is a matter of "when" not "if," so businesses and IT admins must understand the risks involved and determine the most effective and secure ways to embrace all these alien gadgets.
More news and research: The Consumerization of IT and BYOD Guide
When Paul Proctor, vice president and security analyst for Gartner, moderated a panel discussion on BYOD at the RSA Security conference in San Francisco this week, he classified four different approaches to BYOD: containerization, embrace, block, and ignore.
"Containerization" allows for BYOD but carves out a separate space for business-related data and communications. Meanwhile, companies that "embrace" BYOD have a no-holds-barred, bring-it-on ethos when it comes to hardware and security management. "Block" characterizes companies that actively ban BYOD, while "ignore" describes organizations that pretend the issue doesn't exist.
Proctor also shared Gartner research that crystallizes just how widespread BYOD has become. According to Gartner's numbers, 47 percent of today's businesses use containerization, 30 percent embrace BYOD, 15 percent block it, and 8 percent ignore it. But what's more interesting are Gartner's projections for how the next three years will shape up: The embrace model will double to 60 percent, containerization will drop to around 38 percent, block will plummet to below 3 percent, and ignore will completely cease being an option.
Richard Stiennon, security analyst for IT-Harvest, puts it more bluntly. "Resistance is futile," he says. "IT departments have always resisted consumer-driven change. Email, Web browsing, and Wi-Fi are all innovations that were initially blocked. Every organization should embrace BYOD. It's the future."
Let's take a look at those Gartner projections again. Less than 3 percent of all businesses will block BYOD outright, and these organizations will probably be in highly regulated, security-conscious segments such as government and banking. Meanwhile, ignoring BYOD will go away forever--a wise response to a trend that poses significant security problems. The upshot is that if you have any stake in the hardware or networking infrastructures in your business, now is a good time to consider BYOD risks and benefits, and to develop a plan for managing BYOD at your company.