The bring your own device (BYOD) enterprise trend is getting a lot of attention right now. A looser policy that allows employees to choose their own smartphones and tablets might work for some companies, but a number of businesses with more strict security needs now seem to be exploring BYOD policies despite the fact that they might come with unnecessary complications and expenses. According to wireless industry pioneer and Sepharim Group founder Bob Egan, much of the problem stems from Apple’s iPhone.
“BYOD falls between two opposing needs: the freedom of the employee to use their devices for business and personal purposes without the fear of having their privacy invaded and the importance of an organization’s need to audit mobile data to further productivity and optimize their mobile work program,” Egan told Chief Mobility Officer in a recent interview. “However, in this first wave of mobile ubiquity in the enterprise, we’re finding ourselves ruled by the will of the individual. Employees prefer to choose their own devices based on personal preference rather than the overall needs of the company — and much of this has been caused by the wild popularity of the iPhone.”
Egan, who was a member of the team that created the IEEE 802.11 WLAN standard and is a former Gartner VP, went on to explain why the iPhone is bad for business.
“Mobile workforces have exploded with Apple devices; they’re cute, they have a lot of applications,” Egan said. “While many companies are drawn in by the ‘eye-candy,’ others are still looking for more serious enterprise solutions — which isn’t Apple.”
He continued, stating that companies that use iOS devices have serious obstacles when it comes to gathering important data that could be key to improving their mobile programs. “While Apple devices make inputing information easy, getting information back is a lot harder especially when you begin to consider information audit trails and regulatory compliance matters,” Egan noted.