As you begin pitching BYOD to your customers, you'll find that not all organizations are receptive, even when they make good prospects on paper. Any new technology initiatives will involve investment and risk, and IT decision-makers may object to that necessary investment and risk. Here are the top five objections to BYOD—and how you can address them.
Not surprisingly, security usually ranks as the most common (and most pressing) of IT decision-makers' objections to BYOD. While corporate-issued devices aren't ideal for organizations thanks to procurement costs, and aren't ideal for employees thanks to the limitations on devices, they do enable companies to exercise control over device applications, configuration, and security postures. BYOD can seem to reduce that control and increase organizations' mobile security vulnerabilities. Address this objection by communicating the capabilities of Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions, which should form the cornerstone of any secure, successful BYOD initiative.
Another of enterprises' common objections to BYOD involves compatibility and interoperability issues. The mobile device landscape is vast and diverse, with multiple operating systems (and versions of those operating systems). Can an organization be sure that every mobile platform its employees choose will play well with the organization's business-critical services and software? Address this objection by helping your customers develop a BYOD policy that effectively communicates which devices and operating systems are acceptable for corporate use. Additionally, discuss the benefits of cloud computing. Many popular cloud applications and services are designed to work well with multiple operating systems, eliminating compatibility concerns.
3. Productivity and acceptable use
Some organization's objections to BYOD will likely revolve around activities employees do on their personal devices. The need to respect employees' ownership of their devices means organizations cannot prevent employees from installing, say, mobile games or streaming video apps on their devices, and businesses may fear that their employees will waste time messing around on their smartphones or tablets when they're supposed to be working. Additionally, accessing and housing corporate data on personally owned devices increases the risk of inappropriate use or sharing of that corporate data. Address these objections to BYOD by reminding customers that BYOD typically increases employee engagement, satisfaction, availability, and productivity, and suggest security software and DLP solutions to help safeguard sensitive information.
Ultimately, most objections to BYOD express a loss of control over employee devices and data usage, and solutions exist to address these objections. In addition to using MDM and DLP technology, policy and enforcement are critical to a successful BYOD rollout. Here's where VARs can come in. Your position as a reseller and trusted advisor to your customers can enable you to offer your services as a consultant. With your knowledge of BYOD risks and technologies, you can provide valuable insight in the crafting of a strong BYOD policy and the implementation of controls and enforcement tools to back up that policy. And if you don't feel confident enough in your BYOD security knowledge to take that step, don't give up. Ingram Micro information security and business development specialists are available to help you locate the resources and connect with the communities that can get you where you need to go.
What are your most commonly heard objections to BYOD? Tell us in the comments.