Lies, damned lies and BYOD solution pitches

Beware products that promise to fix problems you don't have

Dealing with the challenges of the BYOD movement is tricky, no doubt, but it's not as tricky as vendors and consultants are making it out to be, warns InfoWorld's Galen Gruman. Beware bad ideas that prey upon the IT group's worries about the explosion of mobile devices and a desire to return to a simpler time, he writes in a lengthy article.

Vendors have caught on to fears within IT about the expense of BYOD, cell phone data plans, international roaming charges and the resources it takes to manage these costs. Don't fall for the pitches, Galen warns, because these issues really aren't IT's problem. Business units have to manage their own budgets, and these expenses belong to them.

A number of products on the market will track where users' own devices have problems with weak signals or dying batteries, but Galen suggests these solutions offer little benefit. While it's true that users are likely to call for IT help when they run into these problems, in most cases there's little IT can do other than suggest they find a better signal or recharge their battery. Monitoring the signal strength and battery usage won't really change that. It might be more cost-effective, he recommends, to teach users about the realities of wireless technology and where they can find the signal and battery icons on their devices.

Other flimflams Galen wants you to avoid: the idea that a company might have to replace an employee's personal device if it is broken; the notion that reimbursing employees for devices or plans would lead to higher taxes for the company; and the suggestion that IT should be responsible for firmware and OS updates. "Part of the reality of a heterogeneous environment is that you can't control or assure every aspect of it, so you need to focus on the high level and let go of the low-level details. Alternatively, you can choose not to support any user-driven technology."

For more:
- see Galen Gruman's article at InfoWorld

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