The BYOD War is Over & Users Won: Now What?

Posted on September 03, 2014

IDC says that 1.2 billion workers were using mobile devices at the end of 2013. If there was a battle about whether or not mobile devices were welcome in the workplace, the war is over and users won. In fact, IDC says that the adoption of mobile technology is moving at unprecedented speeds, putting the needs and experience of end users at the forefront of any company's mobile enterprise strategy.

What does that mean for company IT planning and management? According to IDC analyst Stacy Crook's July 2014 report titled Creating Business Value from Mobile-First Development Practices, it means that outside forces are heavily influencing IT decision making, and that applications designed for consumers are penetrating nearly every corporate network. IDC isn't alone in saying that companies are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in mobile device applications, security, and strategy. Other leading analyst firms including Forrester, Gartner, and The Radicati Group have published recent reports that address the rapidly changing world of enterprise mobility management (EMM), and how companies are struggling to keep BYOD from turning into DYOT (do your own thing).

Crook noted that the chaos of an unmanaged DYOT environment, where users decide for themselves what apps to use, and there is no underlying mobile management and security strategy is dangerous to a company's health. "It's time for businesses of all sizes to realize that it's a mobile first world. They naysayers should all be gone now. But that doesn't mean that all of the problems have been solved, or that there is no more conflict between corporate needs and end user desires," Crook said.

EMM Leaders Strive for Security, Manageability, Usability

The Radicati Group released its 2014 list of top enterprise mobility management vendors just a few weeks after Gartner released its 2014 Magic Quadrant report on EMM. Not surprisingly, there's a high overlap between the two lists.

Radicati picked AirWatch, MobileIron, Citrix, Good Technology and BlackBerry, as segment leaders, while Gartner picked AirWatch, MobileIron, Citrix, Good Technology and IBM's MaaS360 by Fiberlink. Prat Agarwal, director of Business Development at secure mobile printing leader Breezy says that both lists of leading vendors share a common focus on solutions that can secure and manage the mobile devices employees want to use, support multiple mobile operating systems, and simplify the end user experience.

"The companies that the analysts honored this year make life easier for IT and company employees alike," Agarwal says. "They offer valuable security, management, and audit tools without adding layers of complexity or time-consuming processes." Breezy's secure mobile printing solutions are seamlessly integrated with all of Gartner's segment leaders, and with all of Radicati's segment leaders except BlackBerry.

The EMM segment of the market is growing, and Radicati says that worldwide EMM revenues will total $1.4 billion by the end of 2014, reaching more than $5.7 billion in 2018. This represents an average annual growth rate of 43 percent over the next four years as more organizations realize that a company-wide mobility security and management tool is essential to keep data secure and employees productive.

KISS: Keeping It Simple and Secure

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have become indispensable in our daily lives. "It seems impossible that tablets didn't even exist five years ago when they're such a huge part of everyday life now," Agarwal says. "But securely integrating mobile devices into IT processes and infrastructure has been a complex challenge for companies of all sizes."

At first, companies reacted by telling users that they couldn't bring their own devices into the corporate data environment, but that approach ignored the reality that users demand the convenience that mobile devices give them, and will circumvent security policies and procedures if IT doesn't make it easy. Some companies embraced BYOD with open arms, but offered employees no support to make it easy for them to meet security rules.

"You need to be somewhere between those two extremes," Agarwal says. "People don't want to carry two smart phones " one for personal use and one for business use. And they don't want to give IT the ability to wipe their personal data on a personally-owned device as the price for using their phone or tablet at work."

Agarwal says that one of the key factors in keeping data secure without adding layers of complexity is a thoughtful approach to protecting data, regardless of where it is stored, or what device is used to access it. "Breezy's approach is simple. We use on-device encryption," Agarwal says. "I believe that any effective mobile device security strategy must provide encryption for data at-rest, in-motion and in-use, especially when employees need to be able to print documents from their mobile devices on public print networks, on unsecured home printers, and as part of the company printer fleet, too."

Time to Focus on Business, Not Technology

IDC analyst Stacy Crook thinks that businesses still aren't getting the most out of mobile technology because many of them lack an enterprise-led mobile strategy. "The boom in mobile devices offers an opportunity for enterprises to change the way they do business and achieve real benefits, but a majority of them aren't taking advantage of the opportunity," Crook says.

Just 16% of companies in a recent IDC survey had taken a clear, enterprise-led approach to mobility, yet 93% of companies with such an approach rated their success with mobile deployments higher than those using other approaches.

Around half of organizations using a mobile solution said it offered key business benefits including smarter, faster decision making, improved organizational efficiency, cost savings, better customer interaction and increased revenue.

IDC says that just 41% of companies have an ongoing enterprise-wide mobile budget. On the challenges of implementing mobile, almost 40 percent of respondents cite security and compliance issues as the biggest issue.

In a white paper produced for Kony, Crook writes that the number of mobile applications downloaded from app stores will increase at a combined annual growth rate (CAFR) of 31.7% annually through 2017. This changes a comprehensive mobile strategy for enterprise mobility management from a "nice to have" to a "must have", says Thomas E. Hogan, CEO of Kony.

Agarwal agrees. "Employees have seen what it's like to live and work in an anytime, anywhere environment. With social media, online app stores, and mobile apps that are constantly upgraded and changed to keep up with user demands, they are becoming used to instantly getting what they need and want to do the job. It can be challenging for a traditional IT organization to keep up with the rapid pace of change, and the user-centric attitude.

"One thing that helps is to stop thinking of employees as users, and start thinking of them the way mobile app developers think of them: as customers, who can and will express their opinions and needs in real time. It's one of the ways that the consumerization of IT has changed things, and it's something that the leading EMM vendors and mobile security specialists like Breezy have to constantly keep in mind," he says.

For more information on Breezy works with the leading EMM vendors to keep data secure without adding complexity for administrators or employees, download a datasheet, watch this video from Breezy, or download The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook from Breezy.

Easy to deploy and manage

Customers report that Breezy installations are among the easiest they’ve ever seen for an enterprise product.