It turns out not everyone wants BYOD

It turns out not everyone wants BYOD

Summary: The 'bring your own device' trend may have crested, due to concerns about security and control.


Based on all the analyst reports, articles, and conference chatter out there, one can be forgiven for assuming that bring your own device (BYOD) is an unstoppable wave that needs to be accommodated and supported in enterprises.

iPhone in use-photo by Joe McKendrick
Photo: Joe McKendrick

In fact, a conscientious, business-minded CIO would likely to see BYOD as the ultimate expression of user desires, and work at ways to design systems that are open and accommodating to any and all smartphones or tablets.

Some IT leaders are bucking the trend, however. In fact, there may even be a growing backlash against BYOD.

Sam Lamonica, CIO at Rosendin Electric, reportedly has put his foot down on BYOD at his company. According to a report by CIO's Tom Kaneshige. "We have a user base that might not, in a lot of cases, make the right choices," he is quoted as saying, citing security issues. 

Kaneshige quotes a recent CompTIA survey that finds 51 percent of IT leaders are saying "no" to BYOD. Instead, companies such as Rosendin Electric are opting to provide corporate devices to employees, while giving the option for employees to use them for personal apps as well. Lamonica says his company's policy is "choose your own device," versus bring your own device.

It's not clear if this backlash against BYOD is a blip, or if it has legs. But it suggests there may be a growing source of contention between IT leaders and business groups on what devices employees will be using for their work. To date, the trend has appeared to be that the client side was slipping away from IT. This may be also a litmus test for the relative influence IT departments exercise within their enterprises. 

Topics: Mobility, IT Priorities, IT Policies

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  • Could've told you that the day BYOD was first coined.

    "It turns out not everyone wants BYOD"

    Could've told you that the day BYOD was first coined.

    But these days it's all about technology as a religion, rather than as a way to help people. I guess that means the next buzzphrase is "taar," which seems appropriate.
  • So we get UOCD instead?

    "Use Our Cruddy Device" - probably running unsupported software like Windows XP, or some marginal player such as BlackBerry or WinPhone.

    The issue is really that "IT" sits on its authority as an excuse to do nothing. This "backlash" seems to be nothing but an attempt at a disinformation campaign to help retain the entrenched do-nothing position.

    If BYOD is the problem, a rethinking of IT's role (and who occupies those boxes on the org chart) is in order. Some mass firings should be done, and replacements should not be coming from either the MS TechNet Guild or Unix BOFH ranks.
    • security should always trump.

      Bringing a piece of crap that can't be secured is not an option.

      Corporations have to have some controls over what can be brought in - otherwise they would go out of business having their systems hacked every hour.
      • While not untrue

        businesses need to be very careful.... CIOs often have instincts that are "creativity crushing" and other executives should be very wary, and not let the CIO get away with too much prioritizing security over creative employees using the best tools they can bring to the table.
        • And when that creativity causes a data breach or other issue?

          There's a lot of new services that people are using for their personal information that could be of use in business such as Evernote, Dropbox, and the like, but when corporate data is being housed on third party servers there are bound to be issues sooner or later. A good CIO puts a framework in place that will allow for some leeway, but ultimately the data that workers deal with belongs to the company, so why shouldn't it have some say as to where, and what, their data is stored?
        • CIO's dont

          CIO's don't operate in vacuum, they work in concert with the CEO and Board vision. CIO also might need a CFO and CEO to sign off before they are able to implement the companies vision for IT. The CIO then makes sure everyone in the IT organization understand the direction and the vision and how its going to be implemented. IT is a cost not a profit center; that is very important to truly understanding. CIO don't crush creativity; budgets do, matter of fact CIO(or someone below them) tend to have to be creative to operate with in the shoe string budgets.
      • Agreed. "Corporations have to have some controls"

        Trouble is, they rely on some middle-aged ex-whiz kid who is three generations behind current thinking.

        And that makes security a joke, too. Who do think is finally upgrading to Windows 7, when - despite its obvious flaws - they should be upgrading to W8.1?

        Now, as ever, corporations trust huge budgets to IT, and never question where the money is going, until the outdated, insecure, overpersonalized syetem falls over .... or much, much worse.
      • very true

        Losing company data is bad but when you lose customer data then thats when that can of worms explodes. Lose of sensitive data can cause all kinds of liability and even loss of a completive advantage in a given market.
    • Short sighted view

      You don't seem to understand,
      " probably running unsupported software like Windows XP, or some marginal player such as BlackBerry or WinPhone" windows XP(most enterprise users have moved on to 7) isn't a phone OS and if the device is a better fit for the investments that have been made in software, infrastructure and training then that's the device they should use. Users and IT have different goals that don't always line up; the user goal should be to be as productive as possible to compete the task at hand. The goal of IT is to enable the user to be a productive as possible while securing, maintain the IT environment and implement corporate IT vision. User's generally don't have to worry about securing the IT environment, they want what they "think" will help them be more productive; sometimes this is in line with IT's mission statement sometimes it isn't. BYOD opens a security can of worms if not implemented correctly which can lead to loss of sensitive data, company property and trade secret information. BYOD is not the complete picture and it not a huge piece of what an IT organization does with in a company. you seem to want BYOD to trump protecting the company for outside threats, which is a flawed vision of IT. Security trumps users wanted to use iPhone, iPads and Android; securing the environment is job 1.
  • BYOD is popular

    at my company, but I plan to hold on to the company BB until I'm forced to give it up. I like my phone to have just MY stuff on it.
    • I agree

      work and personal life need to be separate. Though sometimes I wish I could bring my on laptop as our IT support is abysmal.
  • BYOD was always a scam ...

    ... get employees to pay for the device the employer should be providing.

    And of course the bloggers (who get theirs free) took it up as a Great New Thing.

    Funny how it's taken so long for employers to realise it's harder to control employees when you cannot control the whole spectrum of avalable devices.

    But so long as they have gullible bloggers, not one of which has seen through the scam, it's only a question of time before the NEXT stupid idea: hailed, as ever, as The Big New Thing that 'everybody is doing'