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Learn to deal with it: Mobile BYOD isn't going anywhere

The bring your own device movement isn't about to slow down any time soon. In fact, a survey by research firm Gartner Inc. found nearly 40 percent of companies will stop providing devices to employees by 2016. Despite the upswing, experts say enterprises could be entering murky territory if they aren't prepared.

Stephanie Woerner, research scientist at MIT's Center for Information Systems Research, said many organizations don't know how to deal with the mobile BYOD movement because they've been used to providing devices. There are many reasons why there has been concern over mobile BYOD in the enterprise. For some organizations, there is fear of cost and questions over who owns what information once a worker leaves the company. In many instances, keeping data secure is of utmost importance.

"They [organizations] don't worry about it so much in terms of standards. I think they've come to the realization we have to have all these things work together," Woerner said. An organization may realize the devices employees own are better, she said, therefore challenging leaders to rethink how work is done.

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How to best tackle mobile BYOD initiatives

Despite the hurdles mobile BYOD presents, having the right mindset can help make the movement a positive one. Instead of viewing personal devices as a problem, bigtincan's CEO and founder David Keane recommends working with employees to ensure they can access data securely.

"I think it's really important to think about the enablement of the users to actually work with the information and content on those devices," Keane said. "If we can help those people simply be able to do more with the device, they'll use it more."

Creating a positive user experience isn't important just in terms of security, but also for user satisfaction. Developers need to get creative and design with various device usage in mind, according to Vikki Kolbe, principal technology strategist at Hurwitz & Associates.

"As a developer you can no longer put your customer in the box," Kolbe said. "You can't say, you have this operating system on this laptop or this mobile device and therefore you need to run X or therefore your experience is going to be a bad experience."

Maxine Giza is the associate site editor for SearchSOA and can be reached at

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Do you think mobile BYOD policies are effective?
Employees will use the device anyway and mostly in an insecure way due to lack of information / guidance from corporate IT on how to use it in a secure and safe way in a corporate environment. Employees will use what they believe is more "appropriate" or more "Sexy" regardless of corporate policy since they already use these devices at home or privately.They will find applications or uses for the device that quickly become critical to business operations and leaves corporate IT to be a follower rather than a leader - i.e. One step behind the corporate user. Embracing BYOD and finding ways to make it secure and safe to use will mean IT is seen more as an enabler rather than a stifler of progress.
You definitely make some valid points, Springbokkie!