Think that BYOD is a fad that isn’t here to stay? Think again!

Posted By:  Ernest Dunn - Director, Secure Networks
Posted Date: 

While the term BYOD may be becoming a bit overused, we are really just starting to feel the impact of this movement.  Cisco just released a case study on the financial impact of BYOD which stated that 89 percent of companies are enabling their employees to use their own devices — specifically, mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets — for work purposes. The study also showed that up to 88 percent of IT decision makers feel that BYOD is a positive development for their organization.  Quite simply, BYOD is the most significant change to hit IT since the adoption of the PC. 

So what kind of adoption are we seeing for BYOD out there?  It is massive.  By 2014, users will have more than three connected devices on average.  Think this sounds excessive?  Think again.  I am a great example of this.  At any given time I have my laptop, iPhone and iPad connected to the network.  And that is rapidly becoming the norm.  The number of BYOD devices in the United States, currently the largest BYOD market with 71 million BYOD devices, will have 108 million by 2016 and that is a conservative estimate. 

866 million Android devices will ship this year (up from 505 million last year) and 296 million iOS devices will ship (up from 212 million last year).  Next year Android is likely to see a billion devices shipped, with 354 million iOS devices according to Gartner.  The kicker here is that these iOS and Android devices were never designed for enterprise use.  Apple and Google still focus their development efforts on consumers as the primary adopters of these devices as opposed to enterprises. 

An important consideration here is that organizations did not design or build most of their networks to accommodate this amount of density.  Total Global IP traffic is expected to be 1.6 Exabyte this year.  1 Exabyte is equal to 36,000 years of HD-TV VIDEO or 1 Billion GB.  This is expected to increase to 11.2 EB in 2017.  Massive growth to say the least.  75 percent of mobile data growth is going to be driven from smartphones and tablets. 

The BYOD movement has significant productivity, convenience and cost benefits, but is leading to serious challenges for IT security and privacy. We have found that most organizations have no real idea of how many personally owned devices are have access to sensitive information.   SANS released a good survey in 2012 that stated that less that 10% of respondents felt completely aware of all mobile devices accessing their enterprise infrastructure.  There are many controls that can be leveraged to help gain control over what is connecting to our networks and protect information on these devices.  

BYOD is saving companies money and helping their employees become more productive. But the value companies currently derive from BYOD is dwarfed by the gains that would be possible if they were to implement BYOD more strategically.  Presidio is helping customers of all shapes and sizes develop BYOD strategies to help maximize the productivity and financial gains while maintaining security.  In future blog articles, I will discuss the financial impact BYOD can have on an organization as well as review some of the risks that organizations should understand when implementing BYOD as well as controls to help mitigate these risks and protect sensitive information on personally owned devices. 

Think that BYOD is a fad that isn’t here to stay….think again!



SANS BYOD Survey 2012:

Cisco Financial Impact of BYOD:

Best Practices for Supporting 'Bring Your Own' Mobile Devices: