Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 2, 2013

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Smart Viewpoint What's Your BYOD Strategy? A n estimated 70 percent of organizations worldwide have already adopted bringyour-own-device (BYOD) practices, and industry analysts predict this share will reach 90 percent by 2014. Already, many workers think it's their right — and not just a privilege — to use their own devices at work. So for CIOs, BYOD is no longer a question of if or when. The question is, what's your strategy? The roots of BYOD lie in the consumerization of technology. Today, IT wizardry is no longer purely the domain of IT techies. In fact, techies can now be found throughout the organization, and many of them are Millennials, the first generation to grow up with computer technology everywhere. These workers want to make their own technology choices, regardless of whether those choices are approved by IT. But BYOD cannot be considered separately from the rest of the enterprise. It must be properly integrated into the organization's overall IT infrastructure. This means CIOs need a BYOD strategy — and fast. This strategy needs to consider BYOD cost, security, the cloud, social media and usage. 34 BYOD Costs Don't assume that BYOD lowers the organization's IT costs just because employees supply their own devices. There are still associated costs, including support, training and service. What's more, someone still has to staff the help desk. And early evidence shows that BYOD calls to the help desk, especially when the device in question is not owned by the organization, are three to four times more expensive than equivalent calls for known technologies. All this means CIOs should perform in-depth financial analyses to justify their BYOD plans, just as they would for any other technology. Also, BYOD is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Some organizations do pay the total cost for devices and the network, but others pay nothing at all, while the vast majority fits somewhere in the middle. In addition, some organizations provide employees small stipends, typically $40 to $70 (or the local equivalent) per month, to cover their BYOD expenses. Others offer a variable rate that depends on the job function. Either way, most stipends are intended to cover the data plan only. Other organizations permit employees to submit expense forms for the cost of their BYOD data plan. Often there is a cap on the amount permitted to be expensed back; amounts exceeding that cap can be reimbursed only with a manager's approval. BYOD Security Cost is actually the easy part of the BYOD equation. The hard part is integrating BYOD into an organization's IT infrastructure. The most important thing to consider here is security. As the number of Wi-Fi hotspots grows exponentially, more mobile devices are exposed to hackers. In addition, it's easy to lose a tiny smartphone. McAfee, the security company, estimates that roughly 4 percent of all smartphones are lost or stolen every year. And every lost or stolen photograph: Tim Robberts/GETTY The 'bring your own device' phenomenon is here and now. CIOs need a plan. | By Jessica Keyes

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