Integrator warns BYOD benefits are not being achieved due to device deluge in the workplace
IT departments risk not achieving any benefits from BYOD as they are struggling to cope with the demand by employees to use their own devices in the workplace.
Speaking at a seminar at the IP Expo conference today Jason Colombo, chief executive at systems integrator Affini, said there is a lack of understanding when addressing the complexities of estate management and access to applications and data.
“The feedback that we get from CTOs and IT Managers is that the requirement to enable personal devices to access business data and applications, is placing increasing pressure on IT departments that are already struggling to keep abreast of what their device estate is comprised of, and who needs access to what,” he said.
Columbo added an increasing number of clients were seeking guidance on how to realise the benefits of BYOD, namely increased productivity, lower cap-ex on hardware and better access to systems and software, while combatting security risk, data protection and support.
He said that organisations find it difficult enough to realise these benefits in single tenancy/host environments. When multi-tenancy was added, the challenges of successfully and effectively adopting a BYOD strategy would become exponentially harder for firms.
“We know that developing BYOD strategies for multi-tenancy environments presents complex challenges to efficiently and securely enable multiple groups of users, devices and systems, to gain access to common applications over common networks,” he told delegates.
“Businesses must first take time to follow a framework approach that assesses not only what the BYOD strategy will achieve but also the cost and impact,” he said.
Columbo added that, while there were some wins when it comes to integrating non-corporate devices in the workplace, defining policies and rolling out the capability is complicated.
“CTOs and CFOs must have an open conversation and weigh up the cost benefits against the resource requirements from IT,” he said. “It sounds simple, like it’s a ‘win-win’, but the reality is that it’s not that straightforward.”
He pointed to a survey conducted by Gartner which found CIOs estimating that 25 percent of IT budgets are currently controlled outside the IT department and that this will rise to 40 percent by 2015. “This is effectively where BYOD fits in, but also where cloud and SaaS play,” Columbo commented.
The loss of centralised control in sourcing end-user equipment could put businesses at risk and IT departments under further pressure to ensure interoperability, business continuity and the safeguarding of data.
It is now time for organisations to scope out what is to be achieved and supported as part of a BYOD strategy, he concluded. Not doing so will risk users circumventing the IT function completely to develop their own disparate, and potentially insecure solutions.
“Organisations must put the policies, strategies and technology in place to address BYOD, and particularly BYOD in multi-tenancy environments, or risk detrimentally affecting efficiency and profitability,” Colombo warned.