SMBs embrace BYOD, but slow to manage mobile devices

SMBs embrace BYOD, but slow to manage mobile devices

Summary: Many small companies are open to the idea of employees using personal technology for work purposes, but only one-third of them are actively managing that strategy.


The concept of BYOD is pretty mainstream among small and midsize businesses (SMBs): 61 percent of them have embraced the idea, according to new research conducted by Spiceworks

But among the SMBs that are supporting a BYOD policy, only 17 percent are actively managing personal mobile devices being used for professional purposes.

That's a little frightening, consider the security breaches or malware infections that could arise as a result. But there's a very simple reason that it isn't happening: many SMBs just can't deal with the complexity -- perceived or otherwise -- of putting a mobile device management solution or framework in place.

There were 991 SMB IT professionals surveyed for the Spiceworks report, "As BYOD Becomes Mainstream, Complexity Increases for SMBs," which was sponsored by mobile management solution provider Fiberlink.

"It's clear BYOD support will continue to grow so that the industry conversation must evolve from 'whether to how' IT organizations can better manage and secure the devices employees bring to work every day," said Kathryn Pribish, Voice of IT program manager at Spiceworks, commenting about the results.

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Topics: SMBs, BYOD and the Consumerization of IT

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  • Mobile Management ... Devices? or Applications?

    I believe the article is right-on with respect to pointing out the challenge of managing devices. Yes, everybody has them, but the availability of easy-to-acquire/easy-to-use Mobile Device Management software doesn't seem to be keeping pace. Some of this, of course, is because the devices are not being built to be enterprise managed. Consider that Android and iOS, with still over 92% of the 1Q13 market share (and both up since 1Q12), offer nothing beyond EAS capabilities, and there's no standardization among different vendors for the EAS implementations. Frankly, and sadly, there seems to be no motivation on the part of Apple or Google to make a commitment to better capabilities in device management. As such, I believe that the future of this problem will be more effectively dealt with by use of Application Management, rather than Device Management.
    Lawrence Garvin
  • Device Management

    Great article!

    The biggest issue I see with our clients is the legal risk that BYOD presents.

    Here is a link to a presentation I did with a law firm if you want to more information.