Enterprise BYOD management: An IT guide

Last updated:July 2013

Editor's note

IT departments everywhere have to deal with the bring-your-own-device trend, but the jury is still out on whether BYOD is a blessing or a curse.

On one hand, enterprise BYOD can bring with it some persuasive benefits, such as increases in employee productivity and engagement. But, on the other hand, enterprise BYOD management is tough. And there's a host of gotchas that range from big deals -- security vulnerabilities and network bandwidth strain -- to little headaches waiting to happen. To add insult to injury, BYOD might not even save your company any money in some cases.

Before you make your judgment on whether enterprise BYOD is a good thing or not, check out the compelling reasons why some people love it, the potential downfalls and ways to combat them.

1BYOD challenges

There are some compelling reasons to take up BYOD, but enterprise BYOD management can be a nightmare. BYOD makes managing bandwidth and content harder. Even though employees are more familiar with the devices, they often still need help from the help desk staff to gain access to enterprise networks and when devices break or malfunction. And it makes securing all the different devices and operating systems almost impossible. Other issues that come with BYOD and are headaches in their own right: printing, licensing, legal and more.

Above all else, however, is the fact that enterprise BYOD might not even save companies money in the long run. Depending on how cost-sharing is handled, organizations may still end up footing some part of the bill, whether it's for devices, data plans, telecom expense management systems or man hours to keep track of it all.

2Combatting enterprise BYOD management woes

It may look like there are a lot of places you can get caught in BYOD's crosshairs, but there are solutions to most of the challenges that BYOD brings. In environments that already have virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), there are built-in ways to address BYOD, such as application and desktop streaming that keep information in the data center to help with mobile device security. Finding a fair cost-sharing plan can put concerns about BYOD's financial effects to rest. Last but not least, writing up a BYOD policy can really help companies get back some control over enterprise BYOD programs.

3BYOD pop quiz

Now that you know all the benefits and advantages of BYOD, take our quiz and get even more resources about the bring-your-own-device movement.