BYOD pits IT staff against employees

Current IT systems are more designed for IT than employees, says Gartner analyst

The BYOD trend is pitting the IT organization against the company's employees, warns Gartner analyst Chris Silva.

Current IT systems seem more designed to serve that department's interests than the company's end users, and this is prompting employees to bring their personal devices to work regardless of whether IT allows it, Silva argues in an IT World Canada column.

Employees "desire the devices and programs that they believe will best-support their productivity, and they find ways of working around IT policy and standards. This leads to a complex situation for IT on how to manage these devices in the enterprise," Silva writes.

To tackle the BYOD challenge, enterprises will need to invest in enterprise mobile management (EMM) tools to handle devices, applications and content. But enterprises should limit EMM vendor agreements to 24-month terms because of the changing nature of the products and the intense price competition taking place, Silva advises.

"Multiyear contracts place IT organizations in an inflexible position should EMM tools not deliver on key capabilities as providers shift investment and innovation focus or and even mobile management solutions market exits by some providers," he cautions.

Enterprises should use solutions that are simple to implement and use, instead of opting for tools that promise comprehensive management capabilities that will be underutilized.

"The key strategies of focusing on flexibility in engagement with vendors via tactical engagements, the use of services-based offerings where applicable and modest policy sets and integration plans will maximize an organization's ability to shift strategy as the EMM market evolves," Silva concludes.

For more:
- read Silva's column

Related Articles:
Today's schoolchildren will flood BYOD ranks, study reveals
BYOD market becoming lucrative opportunity for device makers
3 questions to ask before allowing BYOD