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3/20/2013
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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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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.
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.
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 | 8:11:09 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
LOL Bryan. Don't hold your breath!
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
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.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
3/21/2013 | 10:55:59 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
I'm not sure if relying entirely on Google is that much better securitywise. Now there is only one point to attack and if that is successful ten thousands systems are compromised. That strikes me as more rewarding and with a much greater impact than having to attack each single system. The key to more security is more diversity and that is not found on a Google, Microsoft, or Apple monoculture.
David Berlind
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David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 11:34:43 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
That's a very fair point moarsauce123 -- that monocultures are potentially more vulnerable. It's sort of a pay me now or pay later scenario, isn't it. You can pay now to support something more heterogeneous (requires more resources). Or you can risk paying later (in the way of recovering from a single attack that compromised everything).
Midnight
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Midnight,
User Rank: Strategist
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.
David Berlind
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David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 8:15:19 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
Spot on Midnight. That's why I said below that "It's practically a time honored tradition in IT circles." This cycle repeats itself over and over. First it was PCs. Then it was LANs (Department A had Novell, Department B had Banyan, Department C had LAN Manager, and so on). Now it's smartphones. Clouds too. How many users of Dropbox vs. Box.Net vs. XYZ do there have to be before someone puts their foot down?
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
3/21/2013 | 8:57:11 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
Honestly, anyone with the slightest bit of foresight could have seen this coming - especially since a lot of IT people are anti-Apple. I have said from the beginning that we don't HAVE to support it, no matter what the tech journalists say. All I have to do is explain how much it will cost over the next 5 years and the executives agree - there is not a NEED for any BYOD in any business unless you are a small company and want to make your new employees pay for your tech. If they want the gadgets, they can use the approved ones, or none at all. I think that it is part of IT's job to make sure we don't fall prey to every whim of the tech press and trends - our job is to use tech responsibly for the betterment of our company. Our job is not to pander to whiny kids who want to use their iDevice to access (and later possible lose) corporate data.
David Berlind
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David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/21/2013 | 9:05:42 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
GAProgrammer - you make very good points. However, I think there is one counterveiling force and that is that employees are more willing to pay to have their own devices than they were before.. and pay for their own contracts with the carriers. I've been party to this debate which goes something like this:

in favor: it's customary to cover the cost if the mobile device is being used for business reasons
against: true, but let's be honest,.. if we don't cover the cost, the employees are going to get devices/contracts of their own anyway

the same argument is used in the discussion about covering the cost of home internet access (though not wherever Marissa Meyer is the boss)

So, the quid pro quo is that the company gets the hardware and services off the books. It could be a short sited view. The support costs could easily outweigh the savings on hardware and contracts. But it's hard for companies to take the long view.. especially when executives are pushing for BYOD for themselves.
Andrew Binstock
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Andrew Binstock,
User Rank: Author
3/22/2013 | 6:15:58 AM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
Branching off from your main point:

"Each will be walled-in by the somewhat proprietary alignment that exists between the mobile OSes and their respective clouds. Enclosed in those walls, businesses will likely find services worth subscribing to (e.g., Google Apps For Business). But those services will be so strikingly different from one cloud to the next (not to mention how they're integrated with other services in the same cloud) that those same businesses may have no choice but to dissuade BYODers from bringing "non-aligned" devices to the network."

Interestingly, the walled garden is less of an obstacle for documents due to the standardization of formats. But other data, for example blogs and wikis, which do not have industry standards represent a real problem when it comes to migration.

If the walled garden approach becomes further entrenched, I fear that even document standards will begin to fray ("Want to save it as Word or ODT? Fine, but you'll lose formatting and possibly some content...") and it will be impossible to migrate anything you can't screen-scrape from one cloud to the next.
David Berlind
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David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2013 | 11:56:09 AM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
These are good points Andrew. However, our (Fritz's and mine) walled-garden hypothesis is less about the document formats (the traditional lock-in points) and more about how the stack in the cloud loses its value as you attempt to mix and match. The Google example is a good one. Google+ is in the DNA of so many of Google's services (and finding its way into Android apps) and, depending on your POV, enhances them. As I mentioned in the story (for example), Google+ adds a measure of configurability to Google Voice (with a bit of Google Contacts tossed into the mix). From within Gmail (mobile or Web), you can add people to Google+ and assign them to specific circles. Google is using the power of it's various cloud based services to drive up the value of the personal device (the real PDA) while driving out friction in usability.

Consider the hypothetical scenario where you're walking down a street and your phone tells you that the soles on your running shoes on your feet have just exceeded their usefulness and that the replacement is available at a merchant that's 50 yards away for a special one time discount (just for you). In the notification, there's a "Buy" button. You click "Buy," it engages the phone's wallet app, closes the transaction, the maps spring to life and navigate you to the merchant. As you pass through the door, a QR code pops up on your phone -- one that the clerk can scan to authenticate that the bag that's already sitting on the counter with your name on it is yours. You pick up your bag and walk out.

This level of convenience (which I like) --- perhaps we call it real personal digital assistance (as opposed to the PDAs of old --- gets better as you contribute more information to your personal cloud. Google for example can cross-tab a lot of signals (your location, your search habits, your email, you purchasing patterns, your music, etc) to improve an Android phone's ability to anticipate and assist you with your next move. Apple, Microsoft, etc will all have to go there. The power to make this happen will come from the cloud and the power to anticipate will lose fidelity the minute you start mixing and matching.

A more rudimentary form of the lock-in is your music and entertainment. At this point, all the players have something like iTunes. It's so terribly inconvenient though to attempt to mix and match, even though the file format (MP3) is the same. It comes down to which cloud you want as the power behind your entertainment. That in turn essentially controls device selection (for some of us).
SeanDo40
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SeanDo40,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/22/2013 | 4:07:25 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
R.I.P for BYOD?

Has it ever really been about the device? To MidnightG«÷s point about the Commodore 64 and the suitcase styled G«£portableG«• computers that I used to lug up 3 flights of stairs to get into my apartment, itG«÷s about me the consumer, the user, the worker wanting to be more productive and getting the tools I need to make this happen. Yes, we fly in the face of corporate IT because at times they act a department of G«£NoG«•. No, you cant have that, no you cant use that, no no no. But what I want is G«£YesG«•. Yes, choose your device, choose your location, choose your own workstyling, as long as we in IT can maintain our security and compliance.

Corporate IT needs to look at the full landscape of tools out there to support G«£meG«• the consumer worker (maybe we should call it the G«£worksumerG«•). Of course everyone is looking at MDM, MAM, MIM, EMM solutions and all that clutter makes me as an IT guy want to shout MOM! But it isnG«÷t about managing the device. It's about the user and what they need to do on their devices to be productive. DonG«÷t forget it is and always has been the worksumer (I like it) who is driving this. An attitude of "bring your own means youG«÷re on your own" wont fly, at least not for long.

Yes, the cloud is where to look, but as you said the disparate clouds will cause worksumers (yup, I am trademarking this) to choose their cloud. I am now a Microsoft fan boy with my Lumia 920, my Surface (yes, IG«÷m the guy that bought one) and my Skydrive, XBOX music, etc. But my work cloud should reside next to my consumer cloud. I canG«÷t store work data in my Skydrive and let Sally Sultress store her work data on GoogleG«÷s cloud. For that IT needs to embrace a private cloud and use services that give me the public cloud benefits with private cloud security, like Hyperdrive to cross worksumer devices.

But, you know what keeps me up at night? The data, on the worksumer device going rogue. They quit. They get fired. They leave their device, the one they chose, on the bus. What now? Again I want to shout MOM.

Thanks,
/SeanD+¶
kennabell
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kennabell,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/12/2013 | 3:59:23 PM
re: The End Of BYOD As We Know It?
I believe that your statement that enterprise can't 'deliver on truly secure BYOD implementations, the chief problem being users that simply refuse to follow the policies that businesses have set up' cuts to the core issue, but I think a growing trend shows a way forward. I am seeing more companies are writing thier own data security apps that use API's like Tigertext's SOX/HIPAA compliant texting TigerConnect API, or the Dropbox API, that run on multiple device and OSes and help the users 'automatically' follow various BYOD policy requirements. I think you will see more companies using this stratagy to deal with BYOD.
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