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CIO challenge with BYOD: Don't fall down the rabbit hole

Tom Kaneshige | May 18, 2012
A recent slew of surveys about the bring your own device trend portray a topsy-turvy computing world shaping up in the enterprise. The CIO's ultimate challenge is to prevent the very real world of BYOD from becoming surreal.

CIOs, though, were also quick to point out the challenges of supporting multiple devices. Mobile BYOD introduces a host of security, management and legal issues.

This is only the beginning as BYOD slides into BYOA, or bring-your-own-apps. According to the Cisco survey, employees also want to bring their own applications to work: 69 percent of respondents said that unapproved applications are more prevalent today than two years ago.

Implicitly, BYOD employees want to use unapproved apps for things like social networking, a highly controversial worker-productivity killer. They want to read, send and store documents using cloud-based email or a cloud-based storage service provider, which is an IT security nightmare. They want to communicate over their personal IM that is presumably outside IT's purview.

If CIOs thought mobile BYOD was an upside-down world today, just wait until tomorrow. As Alice in Wonderland says, "It was much pleasanter at home, when one wasn't always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered by mice and rabbits."


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