Technology, IT Infrastructure

CIOs struggle to find BYOD comfort zone

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"Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)" in the enterprise is sweeping the nation.

The number of enterprises supporting tablets and smart phones grew from 60% to 72% in 2011, according to a survey by Good Technology, a vendor of enterprise mobile management systems. The findings are from a recent update to a survey Good conducted in January. A mere 9% said they had no plans to support BYOD.

It should be noted that there is a built-in bias to this survey given that Good customers already have a mobile management system of one type or another and are somewhat predisposed toward smart phones and tablets. The  survey itself does not disclose the number of respondents, but according to a Network World story, it was about 100 Good customers who answered 20-questions posed online. 

The results are interesting, especially if you are in an industry where personal smart phones and tablets are becoming the norm. Financial and healthcare industries are leading the BYOD way while wholesale/retail industries and government are the laggards (see the graphic).

Here are the key findings verbatim from the survey: 

-- Highly Regulated Industries Embrace BYOD: Large companies from the Finance/Insurance and Healthcare industries dominate theoverall BYOD picture, with Retail/Wholesale and Government less likely to support BYOD, at least right now.

-- Big Companies Get BYOD: 80 percent of those supporting BYOD have over 2,000 employees; 60 percent have over 5,000 employees;and 35 percent have over 10,000 employees.

-- Employees Are Willing to Pay for Personal Choice: 50 percent of companies with BYOD models are requiring employees to cover allcosts – and they are happy to do so; 45 percent provide their employees with a stipend or “expense back” option to help subsidize thecost of their mobile device or service plan.

-- Offering BYOD Stipend Increases Adoption: Companies that offer BYOD stipends have the highest rate of employees using mobiledevices when compared to companies that require employees cover all BYOD costs themselves, or allow for expense‐back of serviceplan costs, but limit to users with management pre‐approval.

--BYOD Goes Global: Many believe that BYOD “doesn’t work” outside U.S. due to international privacy laws and/or greater exposure tohighly variable roaming costs. Our data clearly shows otherwise – with nearly half (44.9 percent) of respondents indicating they arealready deploying BYOD programs in multiple countries.

What's the role of the CIO in managing, controlling or limiting BYOD? I found a great story on how companies are managing tablets by the same Network World author who wrote up the survey (John Cox) and I have to share a quote from an IT director at a pharmaceutical company:

"I cringed at the thought of purchasing for our sales force 100 devices running iTunes. I was used to a certain amount of control [over client devices]. This was outside my comfort zone."

Have you found your BYOD comfort zone?

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Max Büchler 0 Points | Fri, 02/03/2012 - 19:02

No, unfortunately not. So...time for another attack on my windmill (Don Quijote) - BYOD!

No I'm not against flexibility and to let users use and choose the best device to fulfill their tasks at a glance. But everyone talks about all the possibilities and some not so advanced cons (ex the mentioned post on

Technique ad policies might be a challenge but people are more than that.

I wrote a 3 step BYOD-story on 1. ‘What is, why trend’ 2. ‘A possibility for “the cool guys”’ & 3. ‘When the possibility becomes a demand’, which
handles the problem that I think many don’t think one step further and look for
whom BYOD is for and maybe the biggest issue when the nice BYOD possibility
becomes a demand. You should think wisely before implementing a BYOD-program
(At the same time you have to differ BYO from CYO, to me it’s not the same
thing.). So; I think it’s wise many IT-managers takes some time to consider

My stand; Provide the users with the equipment they need to fulfill their tasks at a glance. Let the user choose from an ending list of devices (CYO) (Endless lists are really not necessary to offer).

Don’t ever make the device guarantee/support agreement be the diff between fulfilling tasks or not. I know someone will say “we have a policy for this”… But then you also start to tap on the choice of freedom. ;)

I’m pro XaaS and Cloud. I’m positive for change, I’m positive to pads + smartphones (which is not equal to BYO, pads are devices, BYO a policy (with techniques to support it)) & I’m positive to freedom but I just don’t get the BYO.

Maybe I’m wise or just old and a bit insane fighting windmills.

/DQ a.k.a. Max


John Dodge 1535 Points | Sat, 02/04/2012 - 04:23

Welcome ot the ECF, Max. I think you nailed it: let users choose from a finite and reasonable list. Just don't leave off a device that everyone wants. You covered the `pads,' but there's a daunting number of Android smart phones. How do you choose which make the list and which don't?

Paul Calento 255 Points | Tue, 12/27/2011 - 21:36

Could there be a coming backlash to the BYOD / Consumerization push? That's one of Paul Muller's "Twelve thrilling (or terrifying) thoughts for IT in 2012" As organizations replace Blackberry's with iPhones, isn't the need for a BYOD/consumerization policy less important. In that case, fully IT managed devices are preferable to both IT, the organization at large and end-users alike.

--Paul Calento

(note: I work on projects sponsored by and HP)

Pearl Zhu 90 Points | Thu, 12/22/2011 - 17:57

Hi, John, nice blogs with full of practical statistics about BYOD trend, just read another good article about BYOD's pros and cons this morning at, cost effectivenes, user satisfaction are the pros, and security and governance are still the biggest concerns, thanks.