BYOD: Bring Your Own Destruction?

With budgets shrinking faster than a Kardashian marriage, IT staff have had to learn to do more with less. What better way to do this by not having to buy and maintain equipment? If your staff or students have better gadgets at home than they do in the office or school, then bring them in! Let everyone use them! What could possibly go wrong with that plan? Lots.

We all know the economy is struggling. It has been for years and it may continue for more. What can you do? Cut staff and spending is the likely first choice. Looks like those old computers are going to have to last a few more years! But wait. Your staff or students have those cutting edge devices that all the cool kids these days are using. Why not take advantage of the situation?

You save money by not having to make hardware or software purchases—your staff or students do that themselves! Since it’s not your devices being used, you don’t have to maintain them! Win-win right? Well, wrong.

Sure you lower operational costs, but what about your staff or students? What if Jeff has a presentation in 10 minutes and it somehow disappeared from his email? The cloud ate it? It’s his device, it’s his problem. Sorry Jeff-o.

BYOD may take the pressure off your IT staff (and your bottom line), but putting the weight on those who may only have limited tech knowledge can lead to a lot of bad news. Jeff’s lost presentation may be his fault, but that still cost your company that pricey contract you’ve been after. Fire Jeff all you want, you still lose.

When an IT department is in charge, the environment everyone gets is consistent. IT staff can image computers, control applications, and reboot to restore each computer—ensuring each session is exactly like the last. The bottom line is there’s accountability.

When people can bring their own devices into the school or office, the IT staff lose control—and so do staff or students. It’s open season and anything can happen. BYOD is still going to get more popular as time goes on. It might seem like a great thing right now, but you really have to think long term. Are you ready for it?

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.