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Breaking Bad (Trends): The Need for a BYOD Plan

August 27, 2014 by

In the first episode of "Breaking Bad," Walter White discovers that he has lung cancer. Realizing he has only a few years to live, Walter decides he will do whatever it takes to ensure that his family is financially secure once he passes away. And New Mexico's newest methamphetamine master is born.

It doesn't end so well.

What's this got to do with BYOD? Well, not to put it too drastically, but a lot of employees adopt a Walter White-like approach to ​ the phenomenon. And while it may not lead to the same level of drama, it can certainly cause headaches for business leaders, especially in light of recent developments.

BYOD Breakdown

While BYOD has become increasingly popular in the last few years, not every company is on board. In a lot of cases, corporate decision-makers continue to forbid the use of employee-owned devices for work-related purposes. For these leaders, BYOD is a hassle and a security threat that they want no part of.

But most employees don't share these concerns. On the contrary, they feel like they need to use their own smartphones and tablets sometimes in order to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. They therefore disregard their company's stated policy and use their own devices anyway. In their minds, BYOD is a necessary means to an admirable end.

This leads to all sorts of problems. Since they're operating without IT oversight, there's a tremendous amount of risk - employees may download malicious apps, introduce malware to the corporate network or cause a data breach when they lose their phones, and the IT department won't be able to respond effectively. And since their BYOD use is not approved, they will need to become covert when dealing with IT, and may actually forgo asking for help when they need assistance, just to avoid being found out.

That's the Walter White mindset in action. These employees have a relatively noble goal, but due to the circumstances they face, they make very questionable, risky choices. The put themselves and their (corporate) family in danger. They operate on the wrong side of the law (or at least company policy).

No Breaking Necessary

Fortunately, company business leaders can prevent a tragic ending by authorizing BYOD within their organizations. The reasoning is pretty straightforward. BYOD is going to happen, one way or another. If unauthorized, though, BYOD poses a major threat, since the company loses oversight of its workers' device use and network access.

If BYOD is legitimized, employees have no reason to go rogue. They can operate within the system, and everyone's the better for it. Just imagine how much better things may have turned out for Walter if he'd developed an amazing new energy drink instead of meth. The show may not have been quite as compelling, but it'd probably have a happier ending.

For your own company's happy ending, embrace BYOD business communications solutions now. Your would-be Walter Whites will thank you.

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