While I am certainly not one who is shy to share an opinion with anyone (and I mean ANYONE), there is one thing that I typically don’t like doing neither in my professional life, nor in my personal life. It’s the “ha ha! told you so!” moment where all the supposed experts who have been trying to convince people of something are proven wrong. Normally, I like to just offer a crisp smile and maybe a wink…because I usually don’t need to say anything more.
Today, I am going to diverge slightly from that approach, without hopefully sounding like that Simpsons character, Nelson Muntz.
As we all know, one of the most common reasons cited for going down the path of BYOD is for the cost savings – particularly the reduction in CapEx because organizations are no longer paying for the hardware. Unfortunately, the devil gets in the details in terms of how organizations proceed from that point. One of the most publicized experiences in BYOD has been the IBM real-time case study. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, one person opined that Big Blue Gets It!
And then, there were a bunch of articles that came out yesterday with titles such as “IBM Faces the Perils of ‘Bring Your Own Device’” and “IBM stung by BYOD pitfalls.” One of the most pertinent points in the first article was:
The trend toward employee-owned devices isn’t saving IBM any money, says Jeanette Horan, who is IBM’s chief information officer and oversees all the company’s internal use of IT. Instead, she says, it has created new challenges for her department of 5,000 people, because employees’ devices are full of software that IBM doesn’t control.
So again, I am not going to do a master impersonation of Nelson Muntz, but I will say that there is yet another real world proof point that the biggest promise of BYOD is a fallacy (unless of course you reimburse nothing) and that there are other things that BYOD doesn’t want you to know about (like the fact that you still have to manage the devices and educate your employees regarding an acceptable use policy).
BYOD is expensive, can create huge complexities for both the IT and legal departments and in my opinion will only continue to lose its shine. Fortunately, we’re not confused here in our community and we recognize that there are legitimate alternatives to BYOD that provide the best of both worlds to both the employee (choice of device) and employer (cost and control advtanges).