Mobile // Mobile Devices
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3/20/2013
01:16 PM
David Berlind
David Berlind
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The End Of BYOD As We Know It?

Will IT need to limit which devices can connect to the corporate network? It feels like we're heading for separate Internets, aligned with mobile OSes and their respective clouds.

The battle for the hearts and minds of smartphone buyers is getting bloody as the combatants -- Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, BlackBerry and others -- open their war chests and spend vast sums of money to take slivers of market share away from each other.

The guerrilla tactics to curry favor are already in play as seen in this video showing a "Microsoft employee" successfully talking the owner of a Samsung Galaxy S III out of her smartphone in exchange for a Windows Phone-based Lumia 920 (the fine print swears she's not an actor).

To the chagrin of Apple and its iOS mobile operating system, IDC reported last week that Android has gained market share at a faster rate than originally anticipated. "Android-based tablets expanded their share of the market notably in 2012, and IDC expects that trend to continue in 2013," the research firm said. "Android's share of the market is forecast to reach a peak of 48.8% in 2013 compared to 41.5% in IDC's previous forecast. Android's gains come at the expense of Apple's iOS, which is expected to slip from 51% of the market in 2012 to 46% in 2013."

The pressure is causing Apple, normally very crisp with its messaging, to make mistakes. My colleague Tom Claburn picked up on the meme in his coverage of Apple's recent "loss" in a war of words.

The battle is clearly intensifying.

The plethora of new hardware choices made available this spring alone promises to complicate an already somewhat challenging scenario for IT managers now wrestling with the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon. The situation was moderately manageable when it was just iPhone and iPad-toting employees begging for corporate email access. Although imperfect as an ActiveSync managed client (thank you Apple!), allowing iOS in addition to the then-corporate standard BlackBerrys was not a major sacrifice.

But once iOS got its foot in the door, it was only a matter of time before all sorts of devices running all sorts of operating systems demanded access. Thankfully, the challenge of managing heterogeneous pools of mobile devices resulted in the birth of a relatively new cottage industry (that of mobile device management, or MDM), which includes fast-maturing players like Soti, MobileIron and Airwatch (the actual list is much longer). Knowing that these MDM players need finer-grained access to the underlying device functionalities than what ActiveSync typically provides, the forward-thinking hardware players are building management APIs into their smartphones and tablets.

To date, Samsung appears to be the most forward thinking of the mobile device companies. It has built its SAFE and Knox management and security platforms into its devices to better serve the needs of enterprises and the MDM solutions providers that serve them. Earlier this year at CES, Tim Wagner, Samsung Mobile's VP and GM for enterprise sales and marketing, told me that Samsung believed so strongly in the importance of its management platforms that the company's ads for its devices would emphasize the manageability of their devices. Wagner made good on that promise.

As seen in the photo below that was recently captured off the wall at Boston's Logan Airport, Samsung is appealing to BYODers and IT managers alike with a SAFE-compliant ad for its Galaxy Note II phablet and Galaxy S III smartphone. The SAFE logo stands for "Samsung For Enterprise" and in Samsung's wildest dream, IT managers will tell employees that the only devices they can BYOD are ones that are SAFE-compliant.

Samsung Galaxy ad

Of course, setting a corporate standard like that wouldn't be in the true spirit of BYOD. But as BYODers attempt to introduce more devices to the corporate network, it may only be a matter of time before some boundaries have to be set in order to fulfill reasonable expectations of both support and compliance.

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Midnight
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Midnight,
User Rank: Guru
3/21/2013 | 8:06:07 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
I invite people to consider a very important concept. BYOD is a myth because it is not new. The acronym was made up by marketing folks trying to slip one into IT's language. My advice is Don't Buy In Any Further.
This is flying in the face of the current media pressure wave, so why would I say something so seemingly counter-intuitive? The answer is in our history as IT. Trivia question - What was the first "BYOD" wave? And how did affect business as a whole? As much as Microsoft or Apple would want to claim that crown, it was neither. If you don't remember the Commodore 64/128 computers, then look them up in the history books of the '80s. These were the first PC type computers that made a real change in the way we do business. (Brief history) Back then it was the age of the mainframe. Accounting had to wait for batch jobs just to get a spreadsheet done. Enter these little machines running CPM OS, that could do the same job right on the desk without waiting for a mainframe queue. It was pure magic at the time. The result was a wildfire expansion of vendors, custom applications and incompatible file formats. (sound familiar) Modern IT policies and procedures were born from this madness and refined over decades.
So now the new "kids" want to bring their toys to class and are trying their hardest to make us believe that this environment is in some way "new." Smartphone tech was addressed when we incorporated Blackberry technologies. As soon as the "new" smartphone vendors embrace the enterprise with the commitment that RIM did, then the vendors and devices become valid contenders and deserve our (meaning IT departments) evaluation for adoption. And any plan for bringing ANY device into a network should be balanced against history and lessons learned. BYOD as being described today is a 20 year step backwards regarding management, ROI, security, and stability. If you don't see the blatantly obvious road that we have already walked, then you really are not paying attention. There, now you see the elephant in the room, what do you do now.
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 8:03:11 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
I wonder if that acronym will catch on!
David Berlind
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David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 7:52:48 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
Thanks Bryan. The myriad options with end users clamoring for support on why some little feature isn't working properly will drive the need to standardize. It's practically a time honored tradition in IT circles. It'll be BYODALAIOTAL. Bring your own device as long as it's on the approved list.
David Berlind
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David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 7:30:54 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
Lorna, the Chromebook, Cromebox, and Chrome browser (desktop, mobile, tabelet) all align very nicely to create a compelling reason for going all cloud. I have all of the above and to the extent that Google's cloud embodies my computing environment, I can pick any one of the devices to engage with that environment as though it's one of the other devices. Maybe the Chromebook is better when I have to draft some letters on the train. The Chromebox hooked to a big flat panel at my desk is great too. Then, my Nexus 7 tablet and Android phone for going even more portable. If I'm looking at some Web page on my Chromebook, I can flip to that same page very easily on any of the other devices. Google's cloud keeps them all in sync for me (bookmarks, passwords, etc. too). But, to get the full benefits, you almost have to go full cloud which is a big business decision that has to come from the top. Otherwise, heavy clients will work their way in.
lgarey@techweb.com
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lgarey@techweb.com,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 3:52:58 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
I think the Chromebook is Google's secret weapon. People can't do everything on phones or even tablets, and the attractiveness of $250, lightweight laptop as a complement to an Android phone is powerful. As you say, people who buy in to Google's cloud don't have to spend for an iPad plus a keyboard, and they don't have to deal with the security issues of Windows. Lorna Garey, IW Reports
Byurcan
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Byurcan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 3:50:12 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
Interesting thoughts. As noted, many companies were already struggling to adopt a strict set of BYOD standards even with only one or two different devices primarily being used among employees. As the use of mobile devices diversifies, I agree this could lead to some form corporate BYOD boundaries, which while may be against the "spirit" of BYOD could become necessary.
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