About a year ago I wrote BYOD–The Hottest Trend or Just the Hottest Term just when #BYOD was burning up the #trendingtopics. Since then, BYOD has become one of the most talked about IT challenges and at the top of many enterprise initiates for 2013. Most industry pundits and analysts alike believe BYOD is here to stay and will have a major impact both on business and how we use our personal mobile devices. Now, as more organizations investigate and deploy BYOD solutions, some unforeseen costs are starting to toss BYOD for a loop.
Why all the gloom? Many of the cautions involved the basics: airtime, data plans, volume discounts, network capacity, support (staff & software) and ongoing compliance.
Obviously, if a mobile device has now added 'work productivity tool' to it's list of duties, it might need to move into a higher monthly service plan, which might be expensed back to the company (along with the cost to process that report). The device itself was probably acquired at retail or discounted with a term contract verses part of some corporate volume discount.
Another area is pure bandwidth. In essence, everyone gets to add another node to the network. A powerful device at that. Network usage, WiFi connections, access rules, overall access management and the rest, most likely will go up.
Support - in all areas - is yet another conundrum. The devices and unique configuration of each; the software required to secure, manage and often license the device; AAA management; IT bodies focused on BYOD; policy & risk management; overall complexity; loss of data; enter your own challenge here _________.
As with all technology trends, there will be hiccups along the way. Remember that thing called The Cloud? We are in the BYOD 1.0 realm and need to move into the BYOD 2.0 era - a shift from managing the entire device to only managing the corporate data and applications on the device. My guess is that BYOD will go thru some growing pains but will eventually settle in as just another way we use our devices and access data. While 'cost' might be the initial bait, over time the benefits will look more like productivity and flexibility rather than TCO/ROI.