The rapid advancement and adoption of consumer mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android-based smartphones have put fairly sophisticated mobile computing in the hands of almost every enterprise employee, from the field technician to the CEO. Increasingly, businesses have had to address the issue of allowing those employees to access corporate data on their own personal mobile devices.
In some cases, employees simply need access to their corporate e-mail from a personal device; others want to use their own mobile phone or PDA as their primary work device for accessing enterprise data and applications. Some companies have embraced this “bring your own device” (BYOD) strategy, presuming that employees will be more productive if they are using their own devices; that they can reduce overhead by not having to directly purchase corporate-owned mobile assets; and that they can reduce IT support costs, since employees would be responsible for maintaining their own devices.
However, allowing individual-liable (IL) devices onto the corporate network presents a number of device management, IT, liability, and security challenges that can quickly erase any potential hardware, support or productivity savings. What’s more, even if your IT department can properly secure, manage and support these devices, employees may chafe at the amount of control and access the company has over their personal mobile phones.