Bring your own device, or BYOD, is becoming an increasingly popular model for an organization to support the mobility of employees and reap the benefits of increased productivity, while keeping costs down by avoiding rolling out company-provided devices and mobile service plans. Logistical roadblocks include support for a fragmented mobile device ecosystem, with major players including Apple iOS, Google Android, RIM Blackberry, and Windows Mobile. Depending on the industry, it may range from a “no brainer” decision to a prohibitive sensitive information management nightmare.


One of the simplest methods organizations are turning to, especially during an initial rollout, is to standardize on a specific device or vendor. While some device owners may be left out in the cold, depending on how the organization makes the decision, a poll of employees may be helpful. On the other hand, the costs of other solutions may dictate the decision on which device to standardize on. Either way, standardization of supported devices reduces complexity and compatibility for both users and IT administrators.

Device Security

Security of the platform and settings, standardized apps, prohibited apps, and other facets of mobile device risk can be managed and scaled through the use of mobile device management (MDM) solutions. Most of these solutions allow scaled provisioning of devices, profile management and updates, as well as tracking, monitoring, and alerts. Again, standardization fosters simplicity, reliability, and keeps users safe and IT administrators sane.

Sensitive Information

Depending on the industry, security of the data that is produced, consumed, and shared on the mobile device is of utmost concern. This last point is often the sticking point for an organization’s strategy when considering mobile device adoption and support. Larger organizations may roll their own custom application that acts as a secured container, including authentication, authorization, secure connections to the corporate environment, and secure storage on the device. Smaller organizations, or those without a larger internal development staff, may opt for a vendor solution that provides many, or all, of these features. Some include DRM-based solutions that add protection mechanisms to the documents and files that are used on the devices and are supported by rights management solutions by desktop applications like Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office. Others are more positioned as a secured document container that works on files managed by a backend or cloud based service. Whichever solution an organization rolls out, managing the security of the data is of utmost importance- whether the device is lost, stolen, or an employee leaves or changes roles within the organization- while at the same time not impeding the productivity gains that a user may gain from the newfound freedom of mobility.