CIO Challenge : Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

As mobile adoption by consumers and businesses skyrockets, companies are just now beginning to explore the ways in which they can benefit from app deployment to smartphones and tablets. Once they start to pursue mobility strategies, a common scenario that CIO’s and executives encounter is the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend.

Simply put, employees are buying smartphones or tablets for personal use before their employers have figured out how to incorporate them into their budgets and IT management frameworks. Then the company perceives an opportunity to save money and achieve productivity improvements by encouraging employees to use these devices for work purposes, instead of purchasing and maintaining new mobile devices alongside desktops and laptopsThe opportunity to evolve corporate technological adoption without spending excessively is clear, but upon further investigation, CIO’s will frequently conclude that the mobile device can be hostile to corporate data integrity, presenting a device management challenge.

Furthermore, CIO’s that manage a hardware and software ecosystem for their companies will discover that their existing desktop software may not work on all tablets and smartphones, due to a) platform incompatibilities (iOS vs. Android vs. RIM) or b) platform restrictions (Flash/Java/Silverlight etc.). To address this holistically, the company must rebuild the software applications from scratch for a cross platform environment, which will most likely compromise the cost saving dimension of BYOD, or find another way to make their legacy software available on mobile devices.

So, there is an ideological dichotomy between hardware management and software management to reconcile. How will your company effectively manage data integrity while taking advantage of cutting edge mobile technology and the BYOD paradigm?

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