How to Support BYOD


by T.L. Neff, Executive Vice President of Global Client Services, Verivo Software

As we move into the thick of 2013, we’re seeing the growth of the BYOD trend driving a greater need for deployment efficiencies.

Once companies got beyond the BYOD debate realizing that it was inevitable that they would support this environment, a number of other challenges are opened up. The big concern? — now that we’ve adopted it, how can we efficiently support it

How widespread has BYOD become? According to a recent industry survey, more than 44% of organizations already allow BYOD, while another 18% plan to adopt BYOD by the end of the year.

Yet, according to another from iPass, 62% of workers already are using personal smartphones for work, while 72% believe their devices should be enabled for work purposes.

Now let’s think about how these numbers are changing things within a typical company. The IT organization that once had a couple of mobile apps to support on a single OS now has many apps, must decide which apps to support and certify, and figure how to manage and deliver them across platforms.

Back End

The challenge with BYOD is not simply developing the front end for different platforms, but also making sure the back end is connected. This involves a range of functions like authentication, provisioning, or data encryption, which would be a burden to custom-develop for each platform.

For users to be onboarded smoothly onto the apps they need, all the “plumbing” has to be in place, as do messaging and management functions for the ongoing use of apps across multiple platforms.

It’s much more efficient to have a common mobility platform to handle all of these app management functions. For example, rather than having developers code an authentication scheme for each device platform you want to support, simply hook into an enterprise mobility platform’s authentication engine, and let it handle user authentication for each device platform you need to support under BYOD.

Keep it Simple

So as we enter this new phase — embracing BYOD in significant numbers — the impact on IT also is significant. In fact, iPass’s research shows that for IT, the number one and two frustrations with BYOD were onboarding, followed by supporting the increasing number and variety of personal devices, outranking even security concerns.

To get at the benefits of BYOD — such as increased worker productivity and¬† reducing the number of devices people need to carry — these IT concerns surrounding BYOD must be addressed. So when you ask yourself: “How should we handle it?”

Remember, it’s best to leverage an enterprise mobility platform with deployment and management support, rather than try to customize all the plumbing tasks needed for BYOD.