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Resistance May Not Be Futile After All

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  • 1.  Resistance May Not Be Futile After All

    Posted Jul 02, 2014 01:48 AM
    Throughout the course of the day (like everyone else) I receive approximately a hundred messages from various organizations regarding some technology. I imagine that just like you all, I rarely see something that peaks my interest. Well, last week there was one message. It was a message from CIO.com and the title was "Why One CIO Is Saying 'No' to BYOD." The moment that I saw the title I anticipated reading about an executive whose favorite shows are the Flintstones and Thundarr the Barbarian. I expected this person to be out of touch. I just did not see how BYOD could not make sense. A company that adopts BYOD no longer has the responsibility and cost associated with purchasing devices for employees. The company can choose to provide employees with a stipend, but the responsibility to choose and maintain the device is in the hands of the employee. The security team just has the responsibility of providing restricted access to all personal devices that connect to network. If the company has concerns regarding sensitive information, implement a VDI solution and have each employee work within the virtual desktop (which has the proper corporate access and restrictions) and play within their physical laptop (which has restricted access). That being said, I read the article and learned more about the company. From the article I learned that BYOD is not for everyone, and this company mentioned in the article falls into "No BYOD for me" category. In fact, I do not think that this company or any company like this will ever be a good candidate for BYOD.
    The first thing that stood out is the fact that the company has thousands of employees and, most likely, less than one thousand mobile devices. Introducing BYOD would introduce thousands of new devices into the network. That means that the IT department would have to scale the wireless network to support the device density. This could require more access points, new access points, or both. Both the infrastructure and WAN would have to scale to support the increase in user traffic. This could require new switches and/or a higher transport speeds. In addition, network staff must now support thousands (versus hundreds) of unknown devices that may have issues that they may or may not know how to resolve.
    Within the article it also states that the CIO is not confident that employees will make the right decisions regarding devices, apps, and cloud services. A mobility education campaign could address this issue. Most likely, an increased vigilance regarding network security would be the answer. In the end, the security team would constantly struggle to empower users without compromising the environment. Of course, this struggle is always there, but with thousands of various devices (once again, versus several hundred), securing the network would seem impossible.
    After reading the article I decided to go the company's website. Although the article states that the company is an electrical contractor, this information did not mean anything to me until I went to the company website. The opening page has pictures of employees working on customer sites - not at one of the company's office locations. I imagine that the majority of the thousands of employees work on site and not in the office. The pictures said a thousand words. A BYOD implementation would not meet the needs of the thousands of employees. It would only benefit the employees that are predominantly in the offices. Based on the managed device count, that number is well under a thousand as well. At this point, this question becomes, "Does BYOD make sense financially?" Given what is required to implement the technology properly, I think not. Reading this article and reviewing some of my experience with mobility sparked the following questions:
    What are some clues that mobility is not a good fit for a customer?
    Other than the ones mentioned in the article, what are some clues that BYOD is not a good fit for a customer?

  • 2.  RE: Resistance May Not Be Futile After All

    Posted Jul 02, 2014 05:11 AM



    BYOD is access to company information, just on an end-user's device.  The simplest and most common use is user access to email.  If the company does not have to deploy a laptop or phone to every one of their remote workers that requires email, they can promote access to information and save money on hardware costs at the same time.


    Most email these days is accessible on any  phone platform.  In addition, many companies have made their applications web-based, because it is supported on many more platforms and it is possible to deploy them without having to maintain thick clients on their customer or employee devices.  BYOD is simply an extension of this idea, but without the requirement of using company hardware.


    If a company is not providing access to its information leveraging as many platforms as possible, from as many locations as possible to its employees, customers and partners, you have to wonder if that company is being as competitive as it can be.

  • 3.  RE: Resistance May Not Be Futile After All

    Posted Jul 02, 2014 04:56 PM

    Or you've got a company with 14,000+ employees who have no need for voicemail, and where a single thin-client (or sometimes two) with VDI at a stationary point is more than meeting their needs for information.


    We have a small group of employees (about 300) who might benefit frmo BYOD, and a huge group who would not. The investments doesn't yet look like a good use of dollars at this time.


    As with all technologies, there are models where the fit is obvious, there are models where the non-fit is obvious and then there's all of the others where there's lots of grey-area.