While BYOD IT Departments Causes Concern, Solutions are out there

December 4, 2012

Bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives are all the rage right now in the corporate world, as they provide several benefits to employees and employers alike. According to recent surveys, BYOD leads to a number of advantages, including higher worker productivity and morale.

However, BYOD has also caused IT professionals to sprout gray hairs. A recent Lumension survey of nearly 700 tech workers found that 80 percent of respondents feel employee-owned mobile devices put corporate networks at risk, making it the largest IT concern. Meanwhile, third-party mobile solutions are also a major worry for tech professionals, with 67 percent of respondents believing these apps pose significant risks.

At the same time, only 13 percent of respondents said their companies have ramped up BYOD security standards, while nearly 30 percent of IT departments don’t have any plan in place. According to Pat Clawson, CEO of Lumension, companies need to invest more in IT security going forward.

“Clearly, IT is concerned but ill-equipped to deal with these issues,” Clawson said. “This may be due to lack of budget or lack of confidence in the tools they have at their disposal. We need to ensure that these issues are being raised to the C-suite, so that IT can secure the tools and funds they need to deal with this ever-growing challenge.”

Mobile investment rising
IT departments do, however, appear to be investing more in strategies to achieve enterprise mobility. A recent study by IDC projected worldwide IT spending to grow 5.7 percent in 2013 to more than $2.1 trillion. Smart mobile device investment is expected to lead the way, increasing nearly 20 percent when compared to 2012.

A separate report by Gartner predicted that 90 percent of enterprises will have to support at least two mobile operating systems by 2017. To mitigate these risks, many companies will turn toward mobile solutions like mobile device management (MDM).

“Organizations will find it hard to achieve an efficient mobile-support system if all platforms are not managed the same way under enterprise requirements,” said Phil Redman, research vice president at Gartner.

The study projected that by 2017, 65 percent of companies will have adopted MDM strategies. In addition, Redman said many firms will develop their own mobile solutions for employees to use, while MDM vendors will also “support enterprise and third-party applications, data and content.”