ZDNet ran an interesting article about a Gartner report that states 1 in 5 BYOD implementations were “destined to fail” due to overly restrictive MDM policies. Firms are adding security measures to manage mobile at an unprecedented pace, but that may not be enough. Personal mobile devices are still considered that to their owners – “personal”. “My stuff, not your stuff.” So security policies designed to protect the company may be balked at by users, and users’ own sloppy personal habits – like storing passwords ON their devices, or not setting up PIN access – can also undermine the efforts.
This is an issue discussed widely in the industry, the inherent conflicts between personal and business space, as it pertains to digital devices. User fear of “Big Brother” and the wide variety of devices and mobile OS platforms make building a secure safety net for company data harder and harder. And even though BYOD was originally devised as a telecom expense management tool, some statistics show that it really isn’t panning out that way.
TEMIA put out a research paper the end of 2013 (get a copy here) that stated their members and polled enterprise clients weren’t necessarily seeing a cost saving from BYOD. Granted, this is due to a combination of factors like more mobile devices in general, more staff eligible for company reimbursement and enhanced security needs, but the point is that it isn’t the magic bullet many thought it would be. Even more alarming is that many firms could not determine if BYOD had saved them money or made costs go up!
What it really boils down to is that, BYOD or not, strong telecom expense management practices need to be in place to control costs. Period. Keeping track of inventory, shutting off or ending payments for ineligible or terminated employees, pooling when and where available to reduce costs are all critical to containing mobile budgets. Tack the security issues that BYOD seems to create on top of that, and tossing out your TEM tactics doesn’t sound like the right solution for 2014.