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Survey: Two-Thirds of IT Pros Say BYOD Connectivity Increases Company Costs

According to a study conducted by Lieberman Software, 67 percent of IT pros say that bring your own device (BYOD) policies in the enterprise increases the cost to companies.

Contrary to the belief that BYOD would lower costs due to employees bringing their own hardware into the enterprise, 43 percent of respondents said that the "biggest headache" for enacting such a policy would be an increase in virus infections -- which respondents said would negate any cost-saving benefits.
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Coming in at second on the "headache" list with 26 percent is the concern of employees losing the connected devices. This could lead to increased security costs if the lost device attached to a corporate network ended up in the wrong hands.

Philip Lieberman, president and CEO of the security software firm that conducted the survey, said that the BYOD movement is nothing more than  a simple marketing ploy by companies like Apple who want to include their devices into a corporate ecosystem that don't have the proper security protocol in place.

"We've been here before. It's the same classic back door sales process used to promote PCs in the 1980s, where the large IT shops controlled both the glass house and what was on the desktops," said Lieberman. "Back then users and managers would show how PCs were better, faster and more flexible than the 'stone age' solutions offered by IT. Ultimately IT was forced to adopt PCs as their corporate standard. The new twist today is that the interlopers are devices that will always be owned by the consumer, not the company."

Lieverman Software's poll of 250 London IT professionals  echo the findings of a July Osterman Research report that said the adoption of employee smartphones, tablets and PCs would bring rising costs in the form of an increased IT staff.

And the increase in IT staff and training, along with the increased security risk, make implementing BYOD support not worth it, no matter the level of convenience it brings to the employees, said Lieberman.

"In an effort to meet the demand of BYOD, enterprises are being forced to employ soft certificates with diminished security," said Lieberman. "While end-users might love the convenience, a lost or compromised device can fast become a nightmare for the CIO. Make sure you understand what you’re opening the organization up to when you allow, or even encourage, your workforce to bring their own devices."

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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Reader Comments:

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Thu, Aug 9, 2012 Bob Smith

Lois is an idiot! Our implementation of BYOD burried out support center guys and ultimately led us to implement a $65.00 charge for every incident created to "fix" an employees personal device. Centralized management was far easier and cheaper.

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 Dave

Lois apparently has this all figured out, so let's fire the IT dept and all those with BYOD can be accomodated so long as you figure out how to configure your phone to connect to corporate resources, and configure the corporate resources to allow said connections. Ah, ignorance is bliss. As a security expert, I carry 2 devices. I do not want to mix work and personal. My company offers a solution for BYOD security, but I do not participate.

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 Rob

The flaw in BYOD is the inability to lock these things down. What do you do in the company? Can anyone do anything and you'll just compensate? Will you fill out a form for me? Or will I have to because you "don't understand what users want and need." Grow up and read some news. As industry is recognizing that maybe we shouldn't let hackers at the power and water systems the BYOD crowd are advocating anything goes. Besides for legal and other reasons you'd have to nearly surrender you device to make this work securely. Think about it: you wouldn't be able to select the apps you want from the app store, wouldn't be able to blend work and personal information, and a host of other things like: Forced screen locks Encrypted drives Disabled Bluetooth Failed password wipe Device fortitude agreements if there's an incident What will be your response when your kid enters the password incorrectly 10 times and wipes the device? The simpler solution would be to compromise. The company lets you check personal email with a business device .

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 Lois

Cost ? Yeah it really makes great sense for everyone to own multiple cell phones , lap tops and / or mobile devices....one for work, and the other for personal use... Of course Microsoft wants this to happen...more devices equal more software licenses and revenue... The problem with IT is that they don't understand what users want and need....define cost, because if I'm forced to use a blackberry or windows phone , who pays for it ? Who covers the cost of the hardware, upgrades,'software etc. Not me, I have my iPhone ... IT should do their job and accommodate the employees from the company that they work for and stop complaining...happy employees are more productive, and more profitable for th company .

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 J Senior

It is not clear if the problems are due to BYOD or to mobile devices per se. It seems that the most of the problems can be solved by implementing clear policies to employee owned devices. Any of the two scenarios require a robust admin solution – without it in place any mobile device will be a headache.

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