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BYOD 'not a free ticket'

Help AG warns supporting BYOD means answering a number of challenges

Solling: A general misunderstanding is that BYOD is a free ticket - in fact it is a complex problem
Solling: A general misunderstanding is that BYOD is a free ticket - in fact it is a complex problem

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is a complex problem that requires significant investigation and investment, according to Nicolai Solling, director of technology services at Help AG.

Speaking to ITP.net, Solling warned that BYOD cannot be treated as "a free ticket" that simply absolves organisations of having to invest in devices. Pursuing BYOD safely and effectively, he explained, required a lot more effort.

"Supporting BYOD means answering the challenges raised by multiple operating systems running on employee owned devices that can no longer be tightly controlled by the organisation," he said.

"A general misunderstanding is that BYOD is a free ticket - in fact it is a complex problem, which requires decent investigation and risk assessment by the organisations."

Acknowledging that BYOD had gone the way of too many buzzwords in this region, Solling pointed out a number of reasons why the trend had failed to gain much traction. He said that one reason in particular was that, given the amount of investment BYOD would require, many organisations simply could not see the benefits.

"While for senior executives, the benefits of constant connectivity and easy access are easily justified, providing access to the corporate network for all employees is still perceived as an overhead that outweighs its benefits," he said. 

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"It is therefore not surprising that despite all the fuss, BYOD remains to catch on in the region."

However, according to Manish Bhardwaj, regional marketing manager at Aruba Networks, there has been a "fair" amount of engagement when it comes to mobility and BYOD, particularly among the younger generation, which Aruba terms Gen Mobile.

While acknowledging that BYOD required investment, Bhardwaj said that it could be relatively simple for organisations to front up the funds needed to pursue BYOD effectively. He cited Aruba research showing that, while companies still invest in laptops for employees, only 70% do the same for smartphones and 51% purchase tablets.

"The low purchasing figures for smartphone and tablets compared to laptops indicate that organisations are happy to shift the cost liability of mobile devices from the business to the individual," he said.

"This doesn't, however, mean that they are absolving themselves of the responsibility to protect these devices and ensure the security of corporate data that might reside on them. In fact, the cost savings from no longer having to purchase and maintain all these new mobile devices can be channelled into platforms that offer support for BYOD in a safe and secure manner."