Enterprises baulk at BYOD

Majority believe BYOD presents security challenges that puts their organisation at risk

Perceived high costs, security concerns and confusion around the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has many enterprises hesitating to expand their BYOD programs, according to new research conducted by Forrester Consulting and Juniper Networks.

Although 57 per cent of the 205 IT decision-makers in Australia and New Zealand who responded to the survey, said they had adopted some form of BYOD, almost half had chosen not to expand their existing programs.

John Brand, analyst at Forrester Consulting told CIO that organisations were finding it hard to distinguish which BYOD solution was best and were concerned about security risks and the additional cost of implementing BYOD programs against tightening IT budgets.

“I think there’s a lot of confusion, people waiting for others to lead the way,” said Brand.

The direct cost of BYOD was high with one-third of respondents expecting initiatives to cost more than 1 per cent of their annual budget.

“IT budgets are mostly staying flat and often being reduced,” said Brand. “In some cases, budgets are being dramatically reduced so an additional 1 per cent cost supporting end user devices, whether they are BYOD or corporate owned devices, is significant.”

Still, users wanted to bring their own devices to work and enterprises were being forced to respond quickly to the trend.

“Whether that is the right approach or not is something that will play out over the next few years when people realise that it [BYOD] hasn’t saved them money, it has cost them money in some cases,” said Brand.

Mark Iles, vice president, Australia/New Zealand at Juniper Networks said BYOD is a fragmented market and many offerings only fix one problem. He said organisations were not looking at BYOD holistically and were deploying “point solutions for what is not a point solution problem.”

Security challenges a concern

The majority of respondents (76 per cent) felt that BYOD presented security challenges and put their organisations at risk. Ironically, 78 per cent reported little to no impact from security incidents as a result of deploying BYOD.

Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of respondents expected security management and operations overheads to increase as a result of BYOD and 67 per cent expected architectures to be more complex. Furthermore, 58 per cent believed BYOD involved a complete rethink of identity and access management.

BYOD was also a distraction and only 37 per cent were well prepared for BYOD despite the fact that the industry had been proclaiming the trend towards mobility for ten years, Forrester said.

BYOD for a limited group of users

Brand suggested that organisations were rolling out BYOD initiatives to a small group of users, such as senior managers, and once they had satisfied those users, they felt like the work had been done. This would explain why many enterprises have chosen not to expand their BYOD programs.

“One of the fallacies is that the younger generation is driving BYOD and it’s about retention of skills and making the organisation an attractive place to work,” said Brand.

“There’s probably a certain amount of truth to that but from our experience, it’s much more around the demands from senior executives to have access to their information.”

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