Celebrating five years of BYOD with five simple phases

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2010: IT simply can’t ignore personal devices anymore

Although the term was first introduced in 2009, BYOD had its first full year, and became much more mainstream, in 2010. CIOs were really starting to feel the pressure as personal devices flooded the workplace. At the same time, Android was starting to pick up steam and the first iPad was introduced to the market. The influx of new devices led to employees bringing more smartphones and tablets to work, which IT was continuing to allow without much support.

Several businesses even started blocking personal devices from their network and mail servers. iOS 4 was released in 2010, providing the first API’s to manage mobile devices. There were a lot of MDM companies born in this year, and “bring your own device to work is finally here” (according to this 2010 Fortune article). IT and organisations were beginning to realise that they couldn’t ignore BYOD forever.

2011: BYOD acceptance begins and is here to stay

In 2011, Official support and BYOD programs were introduced into the workplace at a much faster rate. According to an Aberdeen report in 2011, 75 percent of enterprises now had a BYOD policy. Amid the BYOD buzz, BlackBerry dominance was starting to give way to alternative mobile options, and BYOD acceptance was at an all-time high. Android emerged as a top player in the space, with the Nexus and RAZR phones hitting the market. Company executives were finally starting to feel comfortable typing on touchscreen keyboards, and the enterprise mobility market was rapidly shifting.

2012: Data security concerns take centre stage

Although IT’s challenge was still focused on securing the device, they experienced the first real concerns around security and data leakage in 2012. On the flip side, users were becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy. In the smartphone wars, Android continued to dominate with close to 70 percent market share. On the flipside, Apple sales were exceeding double-digit millions, and the company’s momentum seemed to have no end. Apps were also just starting to make their way into the enterprise.

In 2012, businesses were focused on clearly communicated BYOD policies to concerned users, while still working to understand the privacy and security implications. MDM solutions were certainly increasing in demand.

2013: The app explosion hits the workplace and changes the game

Apps and data security continue to be a hot topic around BYOD and in 2013, there is a major pivot from securing the device to managing the apps and data within the organisation. Data breaches were on the rise, and topped headlines almost every week. On the device level, BYOD phones and tablets were commonplace and mass adoption now required a management platform and the capabilities of an MDM platform, which expanded from MDM to MAM.

Innovations in data security were becoming popular, such as the concept of containerisation of email, apps, and content. This containerisation helped separate personal data from corporate data. Also, organisations were just starting to build and explore the advantages of creating their own custom apps.

2014: BYOD ceases to exist, and doesn’t matter anymore

In 2014, BYOD evolved to become more about enablement and corporate access that goes beyond email. Employees expect the same access to workplace content on their mobile devices that they have on their laptops and PCs. MDM and MAM have shifted to EMM, as the industry evolves to cater to a broader set of mobile capabilities for the enterprise based on use cases across users, devices, apps and content.

BYOD has ceased to exist, and has been replaced by a broader set of mobile capabilities that enable the workforce of the future. BYOD is morphing into BYOX – a new trend that takes the focus away from the specific device employees are using. It’s not just a question of phones and tablets anymore. Content, wearables and apps are all part of the BYOX spectrum. Moving forward, this will be the area that demands the most attention from a security perspective.

Do you agree with these views?


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6 Nov 2014, 3:37 p.m.

BYOD will continue growing as mobile devices continue to play a greater role in our lives. That's why so many major IT players are offering solutions to address such BYOD challenges as security and device management.

Does BYOD come with headaches? Of course it does. However, security issues and IT management headaches (how do I support all those devices?) can be addressed by using new HTML5 technologies that enable users to connect to applications and systems without requiring IT staff to install anything on user devices. For example, Ericom AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that enables remote users to securely connect from iPads, iPhones and Android devices to any RDP host, including Terminal Server and VDI virtual desktops, and run their applications and desktops in a browser. This enhances security by keeping applications and data separate from personal devices.

Since AccessNow doesn't require any software installation on the end user device – just an HTML5 browser, network connection, URL address and login details - IT staff end up with less support hassles. The volunteer or temporary employee that brings in their own device merely opens their HTML5-compatible browser and connects to the URL given them by the IT admin.

Visit http://www.ericom.com/BYOD_Workplace.asp?URL_ID=708 for more info.

Please note that I work for Ericom