You’d think after all this time that organizations would have finally gotten BYOD programs pretty much down pat. Don’t bet on it.
A recent study by tyntec reveals that a vast majority of organizations still have inadequate bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. That’s not very encouraging, considering that 49 percent of workers now use a personal mobile device for work-related tasks and spend a great deal of time on personal devices for their job.
Further, the typical U.S. worker now expects to have nothing less than total access – anywhere, anytime, from any device – to their employer’s networks, finds another study from Dell and Intel. But despite all this demand on the user side, many organizations still wrestle with security, privacy and support issues around BYOD. That is holding many employers back when it comes to giving BYOD an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’.
So what does it take to get BYOD right in 2015? CSO put that question to a few IT leaders, whose collective responses reflect the still wide divide on how BYOD is supported at the IT executive level, possibly depending on the industry in which they work.
An undeniable force
The higher education sector has embraced BYOD probably as much as any. No surprise here, really. College and university culture is all about openness – of ideas, of expression, and of access to resources. So it is only natural that today’s campus environment is awash with personal devices.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a prime example. According to Thomas Hoover, associate vice chancellor and CIO, and Susan Lazenby, manager of strategic planning and communication, BYOD has taken the campus by storm.
The two shared the school’s experiences with BYOD by stressing the impact it has had on the school’s IT organization, including staff and budget. But they confirmed that BYOD was a trend not to be denied, and the university had no choice but to adopt it. They also noted that a robust BYOD program is not just demanded by students, but also by faculty and employees.
To illustrate how rapidly BYOD caught on at UT, the two noted that five years ago the school’s network was supporting 809 devices. That number rose to 14,906 in 2014. This year it jumped to approximately 48,000.
It’s a similar tale hundreds of miles away at Worcester State University in Massachusetts.
“Like any other institute in higher education, Worcester State doesn’t have any choice but to support BYOD,” notes Anthony (Tony) Adade, CIO at the university. “The students come from diverse backgrounds. They come with all kinds of devices. For several years we’ve been seeing an influx of games on our campus – all kinds of games. Besides the normal devices that we have to deal with, we didn’t have any choice but to support them.”
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