Beware the Pressure BYOD Puts on the IT Department

By Juliana Kenny June 29, 2012

The notion of employees bringing their own devices to the workplace sounds like a darned good one, doesn’t it? All of a sudden, companies do not have to supply all the hardware they used to and employees can work remotely meaning organizations can function nearly 24/7! Sounds glorious. But the aspect that often goes unconsidered when businesses contemplate the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scheme is the pressure that requirement puts on their IT staffs.  Businesses must be aware of the necessary back-up needs that a BYOD-based operation will require.

Telecom Consultant, Peter Radizeski recently noted that this growing trend amongst businesses is forcing  the IT department to venture into HR-type territory with the now-added pressures of the workforce that “wants the same experience at work that it has at home, especially mobile, remote, and virtual workers.” We enter dangerous waters with the overlapping of responsibilities, especially in larger organizations.

“IT departments are known to be overwhelmed with tech support as it is, and unable to get to high priority projects done on a regular basis,” said Radizeski. “Support isn’t just a function of time, it is a function of skill and familiarity as well. If you allow any device on the network, how is it supported? How does that device affect the network? How does IT even know the device or how to support it at all?” 

The enterprise has a bit to worry about in all this considering the sheer number of privately-owned devices that will require access to records and internal-only items that will have the chance to run amuck across the network. A recent Gartner report stated that 86 percent of enterprises that responded to a survey indicated intent to purchase media tablets for employee use this year. Naturally, security is at stake with the implementation of all these devices across businesses.

“Now IT departments have to support yet one more device on top of numerous models of laptops, desktops, servers and the WLAN.  The wireless network is becoming a burden as well. More access points have to be added to handle the extra devices. More management is needed,” added Radizeski.

Well, what to do about it? Some suggest creating an easily-readable policy for all employees using privately-owned devices in or for the workplace. With a policy in place, there is a smaller margin for error with security measurements and procedures. But, not all employees are likely to abide by lengthy policy let alone read it.

Others suggest using the BYOD trend to engage further with employees and unite through the use of their favorite devices instead of letting them alienate each other, as people using devices that house varied platforms are wont to do. A Computerworld writer said that “It's also a way of acknowledging reality: You can give employees a company-sanctioned device, but it doesn't mean they will stop using their personal tablet or smartphone, including for company business.”

The bottom line is: Businesses have to embrace the emergence of BYOD. It’s here, it’s happening. Get used to it.




Edited by Stefanie Mosca

TechZone360 Managing Editor

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