Here’s the thing.
I’m not a “Solutions Provider” or an “API Architect” or any of the other IT related positions who stand to gain a substantial amount of business when BYOD get’s implemented in the Enterprise.
Amazingly enough, these types of “journalists” are the guys who are writing a vast majority of the ‘Pro-BYOD’ related blogs that are out there in droves right now.
These guys are sharks who smell blood so of course they’re going to be all for BYOD in the Enterprise and praising the wonders of it and scoffing at all those who are against the idea.
Me, I’m one of the poor bastards who would actually have to support, troubleshoot, and maintain a BYOD implementation. I’m a Network Administrator who actually “get’s his hands dirty”. I’m out there in the trenches, dealing with everything from basic Desktop Support issues on up. Luckily, due to security related issues where I work, we will almost without any doubt never implement any kind of BYOD environment. Quite the opposite here actually.
However, I still see things from the side of the people who support infrastructures once they’re implemented unlike these guys who would do the implementation and then wash their hands and walk away. Either that or they would charge a staggering rate to act as Consultants to support the BYOD implementation that they pushed for.
Since I am a Support IT person I can see several reasons to back up why I am highly against BYOD.
Do you really want any number of possible different combinations of Smartphones, Laptops, Tablets, etc. etc. in your Enterprise?
Do you really want to become skilled enough to support every possible issue that could arise on dozens of different types of devices? Bugs, Hardware failures, Patch Management, Software installation quirks, compatibility issues, the list is practically endless. Even down to the petty grade school crap of one user who might have a personal device that is better than another user in the same position’s device and now you get to listen to them whine about it. It’s bad enough now when all we do is offer a decent choice of certain devices to choose from.
There’s also a certain look of professionalism when all the systems in your company match and look like there was obvious thought put into their implementation.
My answer, hell no.
Ugh, where do I start? Viruses, Malware, Tracking Cookies from individual’s internet surfing outside the company, any number of possible Crapware installations. Just exactly how far does a company’s authority to enforce activity on an employee’s personal equipment go? Do you really want to deal with the endless different issues that can arise from personally owned equipment being used on your business network? Should IT really be responsible for cleaning up malware infestations on systems that don’t even belong to the company?
Then there’s also the angle of intellectual property? So your company deals with some kind of sensitive information and this user has lots of it on their laptop? Their laptop gets stolen or that user gets fired or laid off. Now what? If you have a legal team I’m sure they’re going to love dealing with the manure storm that can arise in that situation.
At least if the device is company owned there is an assumed liability already and controls to prevent that kind of thing can safely be implemented without the user having any real say over it. If something is owned by the company then decisions that are best for the company can be made much easier concerning the use of said device.
Ok, so your user accidentally drops their laptop down 3 flights of stairs. Their personal device is now in pieces all over the lobby? Now what?
Does the company now buy this user a brand new replacement device? Refuse, and the user sues over it’s loss since they were on company property doing company work on their personally owned device.
Chances are high this new device will be better than the one that was broken since gadgets update so quickly. So now the business buys a replacement? What happens when the user leaves the employ of this business? The cost of that device is now lost and this user now has a nice shiny new device paid for by the company.
There are potentially dozens of other reasons to add to this list and each one can have dozens of different little sub-categories of reasons within in them. Enough to turn this blog entry into an Encyclopedia. I think the basis of my opinion is made well enough with just these three.
While BYOD may be an excellent choice for small companies that don’t have the resources to have an on staff IT department saying BYOD is inevitable for the Enterprise is simply ludicrous.