So by now, you’ve probably heard that BYOD means Bring Your Own Device – a topic that is getting lots of press these days. The concept of allowing employees to use their own personal device, often mobile, for work related tasks. This could reduce the overall expenditure for IT issued devices and many organizations feel users are happier and more productive when they are using the device of their desire. There could be a snag however when it comes to licensing. Does BYOD also require Bring Your Own License? In many instances, this is an area that IT needs to keep an eye on and often the answer is yes.
Some of the most common enterprise software licensing agreements require licensing any device used "for the benefit of the company" under the terms of the enterprise agreement. That often means that all those BYO devices will require a license to access common corporate applications. This also means that even if the user already has a particular license, which they purchased on their own or it came with the device, the organization might still need to license that device under their enterprise software agreement. This could diminish any cost savings from the BYOD initiative.
There are solutions to such as using alternative products that are not restricted by licensing but, those may not have the key features required by your workforce. Another idea is to move primarily to virtualization for provisioning apps with restrictive client access licenses. Some software licenses require one CAL per concurrent connection, some require one CAL for each unique client regardless of concurrency and some do not require CALs at all. IT needs to understand if their situation is per-user or per-device and what impact that may have on a BYOD policy.