CIOs ‘don’t have the balls’ to tackle the BYOD problem decisively.
BYOD is an ill-conceived ‘bandwagon’ that companies need to avoid before it ultimately costs them a fortune, one IT consultant has warned.
Phil Cracknell, head of security and privacy services at Company 85, believes companies have lost control of BYOD due to CIOs caving in to pressure from management and employees.
He said: "People jump on the bandwagon. They see everyone else doing it and think they’ve got to do it too. I actually see BYO being dead in three years once people realise the true cost.
"We’ve now got CIOs that are afraid of being left behind. They don’t have the balls to say ‘no, this is not right for our business. It’s not right for us strategically. We’re going to say no’. All his board are tech savvy. They think they need to go for BYOD because they’ve read about it in the Financial Times. All the employees are saying they need BYOD. The CIO is sat in the middle and just caves in. It’s a real tricky position for the CIO but there’s never been a time like this."
Cracknell believes companies that have embraced BYOD as a cost-cutting measure have exacerbated the problem.
He said: "Back in the day, you would join a company and the phone you got from the company was kick ass. Those tables have turned completely now. The one you get at work is crap and the one you use at home is kicking. That’s fuelled BYOD.
"In the past, the reason a company would give employees one type of phone and one type of laptop was because they could support that. But now the poor support guys are getting all sorts of problems to deal with and the costs shoot up."
Cracknell urged CIOs to put the BYOD issue to company directors as a business case, rather than a matter of security.
He explained: "You should not opt for BYOD because it’s fashionable, and then retrofit the businesses case to that decision.
"CIOs and IT managers need to make the business justify why it needs to opt for BYOD – not just from a security perspective but from a strategic business perspective. It’s almost as though we need to dial down the security side of this because if we don’t it’s as though we become the blocker. We’re trying to shake the idea that security is a business blocker.
"BYOD is not just a security risk. It’s a fundamental business problem that will not be profitable. Don’t put security in the way as a fake barrier."