IT | Security

BYOD: The Challenge of Device Fragmentation

By: Absolute Editorial Team | 8/8/2013

One of the most commonly cited challenges of implementing a BYOD program is in managing multiple device types. IT departments are often bogged down by the multitude of devices being used for work, even those that are not specifically sanctioned. As Stephen Midgley, VP of Global Marketing at Absolute Software, shares on IDG Connect, the fragmentation of devices has left some IT teams struggling to manage and control such a wide variety of devices, operating systems and applications.

Device Fragmentation Leads to a Struggle in Control

As Stephen Midgley notes:

"The issue is that in situations where control is lost, often the corporate networks, documents and other resources are at the mercy of unmanaged devices. Without management of each and every device connected to the infrastructure, it is impossible to ensure business-wide device policies tailored to the needs of every user. This means a business cannot easily respond when a device is stolen or data is breached, or when a user does something with their device that is in breach of general IT policies. Even an innocuous programme, such as consumer cloud storage application, represents a potential data breach. Also, where it isn’t possible to control and track each device on the network, IT teams could simply not be aware of the number of devices. If a data breach does happen, it is impossible to gauge the scale of the problem."

There are already too many device options for IT to keep track of. There will be more every year. The solution, then, comes by reframing the issue to control of the user and the data - not the device.

"What is needed is a centralised policy that works on all devices, which can be tailored to who is using it and how it is being used… BYOD is not a technical problem; it’s a business problem, and it must be approached in this way."

Stay tuned to the second part in this series next week on how to create an efficient BYOD policy.

If you're a regular reader of the InTelligence blog, you'll know we've touched on this topic before. For more of our thoughts on the data vs device positioning, you can also read our thoughts featured in Mobile Enterprise Magazine. For more on creating an efficient BYOD policy (if you can't wait to read the conclusion to this article), read our guide on How to Implement a BYOD Policy in 3 Simple Steps. Absolute Software has been named one of the Top 10 Vendors that "Get It" when it comes to BYOD and MDM - find out why here.