JBuff’s BYOD Experiment (part 3 of 4) Corporate Expectations

A while back, I decided to do an experiment on BYOD — here are my results:

JBuff’s BYOD Experiment – part 3, Corporate Expectations

Last week, in some discussions on BYOD with a large end-user, one of their senior leaders said:

Originally, we were very pro-BYOD at the company. But in looking closer, particularly as it relates to backup and management functions, we are going to hold off on any company policies. 

For example, IT needs to be able to push standardized agents and configuration information onto BYOD devices, so that users don’t need to change their behaviors.

So, we’re waiting on any BYOD enablement until we can get the same kind of management and user-experience that we have with our corporate-owned assets.”

OMG!!  Essentially, this exec doesn’t mind users purchasing devices with their own money instead of the company’s funds – but wants everything else to stay the same.


If I buy a device because I believe that I can be more effective with what I choose (and pay for) than what IT would provide me, then why would I let IT put its normal tools on it?

If its my device, then I take responsibility to troubleshoot its problems and assure its functionality.  But if IT puts its stuff on it too, then are they then responsible for supporting the device?

Frankly, if IT could put management agents and really enforce corporate policies on BYOD devices, then BYOD and Consumerization of IT (CoIT) wouldn’t be such a challenge.  The challenges of BYOD and CoIT are how do enable a workforce that is bringing its own devices, without traditional datacenter agents and management capabilities – either because end-users don’t want them or they don’t exist for your platform yet.


If its my device but it has corporate data on it, who is responsible for backing it up?  (trick question)

Who needs to ensure that the corporate data is protected somehow?  The company

Who will be impacted if the corporate data is lost? The company and the users who are dependent on it

Who wants their personal data protected?  The user, though many don’t really know how – and therefore none of the data gets protected

So, Jason, what is the right way to protect BYOD data?  Arguably, you might not need to back it up at all – depending on what kinds of data you use.  Check out Part 2 of this series for more on Sync vs. Backup

Wrapping it up

If you are going to bring your own device, you accept some additional responsibility.  If you don’t want that additional support burden, then use the devices paid for and supported by your company.

Today (maybe not in the future), corporate IT understands the inevitability to support BYOD but not necessarily by using the same methods that they have supported corporate assets.  Instead, they can (only):

  • Recommend (or warn against) certain file sharing services, based on sensitivity of data and what others in the company are using
  • Provide guidance on how to acquire and configure apps from your platforms’ app store, so that you are more productive with your device
  • Offer guidance on how to ensure that the device is protected from viruses and its data is backed up

Of course, if your device is a consumption device, and not a creation device (see blog part #2), then things are smoother for everyone.  But even then, you shouldn’t expect to purchase a tablet from Best Buy (see blog post #1) and drop it off at your help desk to be configured for you.

As always, thanks for reading.

[Cross-posted on ESG-Global.com]

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