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Is BYO Already D?

As in Done, Dead, Doomed…Defeated

As in Done, Dead, Doomed…Defeated.

About a year ago I wrote BYOD–The Hottest Trend or Just the Hottest Term just when #BYOD was burning up the #trendingtopics.  Since then, BYOD has become one of the most talked about IT challenges and at the top of many enterprise initiates for 2013.  Most industry pundits and analysts alike believe BYOD is here to stay and will have a major impact both on business and how we use our personal mobile devices.  Now, as more organizations investigate and deploy BYOD solutions, some unforeseen costs are starting to toss BYOD for a loop.

A number of recent surveys, research and analysis indicate that the perceived cost savings might be a mirage.  The Aberdeen Group says BYOD could cost organizations 33% more than a IT owned mobile device plan.  iPass’ Q4 Mobile Workforce Report, suggests organizations are not considering long term costs of BYOD and Damovo UK’s survey of 100 IT Directors, 73% feel that BYOD costs will ‘spiral out of control,‘ with 69% skeptical that the BYOD shift will actually reduce support costs.  And Xigo, a provider of cloud-based expense management, reported that while cost savings is a top goal for BYOD programs, most respondents (67%) said their mobile expenditures had not changed with 25% saying their costs rose. Finally, in a survey by Lieberman Software, most respondents (67%) said BYOD would increase IT and security costs.

Why all the gloom?  Many of the cautions involved the basics: airtime, data plans, volume discounts, network capacity, support (staff & software) and ongoing compliance.

Obviously, if a mobile device has now added ‘work productivity tool’ to it’s list of duties, it might need to move into a higher monthly service plan, which might be expensed back to the company (along with the cost to process that report).  The device itself was probably acquired at retail or discounted with a term contract verses part of some corporate volume discount.

Another area is pure bandwidth.  In essence, everyone gets to add another node to the network.  A powerful device at that.  Network usage, WiFi connections, access rules, overall access management and the rest, most likely will go up.

Support – in all areas – is yet another conundrum.  The devices and unique configuration of each; the software required to secure, manage and often license the device; AAA management; IT bodies focused on BYOD; policy & risk management; overall complexity; loss of data; enter your own challenge here _________.

As with all technology trends, there will be hiccups along the way.  Remember that thing called The Cloud?  We are in the BYOD 1.0 realm and need to move into the BYOD 2.0 era -  a shift from managing the entire device to only managing the corporate data and applications on the device.  My guess is that BYOD will go thru some growing pains but will eventually settle in as just another way we use our devices and access data.  While ‘cost’ might be the initial bait, over time the benefits will look more like productivity and flexibility rather than TCO/ROI.

What do you think?  BYO Done or Dawning?

ps

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter Silva covers security for F5’s Technical Marketing Team. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Bringing the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together, he covers training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5’s security line. He's also produced over 200 F5 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. Prior to joining F5, he was the Business Development Manager with Pacific Wireless Communications. He’s also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others. He earned his B.S. from Marquette University, and is a certified instructor in the Wisconsin System of Vocational, Technical & Adult Education.