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The bring-your-own-device fad is fading

Matt Hamblen | July 16, 2015
CompTIA survey finds 53 percent of private companies ban BYOD.

Both Gold and Herbert said many corporations five years ago thought they could save money by having workers both buy their own devices and pay monthly service bills. "But that's generally not been the case, as companies have come to realize there is no free lunch with BYOD," Gold said.

Another reality is that workers recently have found they can keep their personal photos, music and other data in a personal cloud repository, which means their personal treasures won't be lost if the worker leaves the company and has to surrender a corporate-owned phone or tablet, Herbert said.

The CompTIA study also found evidence that discussions within corporations about BYOD as well as mobile device management (MDM) have settled down. Sometimes, companies that never had an internal device usage policy have created a security policy and have trained workers on what uses are not allowed with smartphones and tablets, which lowers the security risk. For example, a company that never had a policy restricting which websites can be visited on a work device or that never restricted use of a smartphone camera, might in the past two years have instituted mobile policies, Herbert said.

"MDM is probably not at the adoption level some would have expected a few years back," Herbert said. "Some of the reason may be that companies have focused on getting the mobile usage basics right and now may have a security policy that covers mobility. It was odd that for years many companies simply didn't have a formal policy for mobile uses."

If an organization controls the type of smartphone or tablet used by banning BYOD, it can more easily set the policies and see they are adhered to, which can result in fewer security breaches and lowered costs to deal with breaches. "There's also been more investment on the employee training side and employees are more self-aware" about mobile security risks, Herbert said. "As a result, the original projections of MDM haven't been realized."

CompTIA interviewed IT executives who said the corporate focus on MDM and BYOD will evolve into greater attention on the Internet of Things, largely as an extension of mobile technology capabilities. "IoT is a very broad area, and we define it as adding intelligence to devices that previously didn't have it," Herbert added.


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