That is the question many decision makers and strategy leaders will face in 2013.
While most mobility groups and gurus tend to speak of BYOD as an emerging unavoidable standard of sorts, I have a slightly different view of the whole BYOD scenario and what 2013 holds for enterprises "going mobile".
This short article is not meant to build a case against BYOD. BYOD indeed has its place while not being the only/preferred mobile device strategy option for companies.
As enterprises go mobile, network security, content confidentiality and other management concerns might see companies opting to provide devices to their employees instead of creating multiple mobility realms for secure and non-secure apps.
Different companies might have different use-cases and so some companies might choose the BYOD route because of lesser security and confidentiality concerns, while some opting to provide devices that fit well into their own enterprise security policies.
Lets look at some reasons that might convince decision makers NOT to choosing BYOD:
1 - Information SecurityIf a company gives access to secure and confidential information to its employees/executives via mobile apps as part of their mobility strategy, the high value of the information itself can be a reason not to allow users to use their personal devices. The users may loose the device or may leave the company and this data may reach an unintended audience (a competitor maybe?). In a non-BYOD scenario these devices would be managed by a Mobile Device Management solution which would remotely wipe the device as soon as the person turns in the device while leaving the company. No one will want their personal devices wiped when they leave a company.
2 - Device standardizationIf the company's mobile apps are going to be available for install and use on a wide variety of Mobile devices out there so that employees can use their own devices of choice this increases work on both app development and support teams. Even on same devices one user might be running an older version of the OS while other might be using a newer version. Again this will mean the apps will have to be designed to support various versions of the device's OS which might be challenging when newer OS releases have features older versions dont have.
3 - Regulation/PolicyWhat if an employee using his/her own device does something illegal while using company apps. Is the company liable? What if an employee installs software on the device that they are not allowed to install on any machines used for work. Secure certificates installed on devices might be part of an enterprise mobility strategy and having malicious software on the personal devices can misuse these certificates to transmit or receive information. Other issues like the responsibility of upgrades or repairs needs to be defined clearly. Most companies will not want to own these responsibilities if they dont own the device.
So thats my list. Again, I would like to remind you that my aim is not to show that BYOD is not for your company, rather I seek to complete the BYOD picture to better enable any related decision-making. You might realize after going through my article that the risks highlighted here do not apply to your company and you will feel more confident going the BYOD route.
Hence, "to BYOD or not to BYOD", does not have a universal answer for now!