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BYOD and the Zombie Apocalypse: A Comparison

September 09, 2014 by

BYOD enjoys something of a mixed reputation. On one hand, many business decision-makers recognize that BYOD is both inevitable and incredibly beneficial, and have instituted policies embracing the trend in their organizations. Yet others -- especially those in the IT department -- are extremely fearful of BYOD. They worry that allowing employees to use their personal devices for work-related purposes will create a scenario in which the network is overrun by uncontrollable, rogue elements, putting the entire company at risk of a devastating data breach.

To put it melodramatically, a lot of business personnel treat the possibility of allowing BYOD as the equivalent of inviting a zombie plague.

As you might imagine, such fears are overblown. Not only that, they are also misguided. Let's take a closer look.

Zombie Worries

The thing about zombies is that they're uncontainable. By the time a zombie plague gets going, it's too late to stop it. That's especially true when you're dealing with today's super-fast, rage-filled, bite-happy zombies. First, you have one zombie bopping around, and the next thing you know New York City is completely overrun.

The only ways to minimize the destruction are to stop the first zombie from escaping into public or by being completely isolated, allowing no one to enter your city/state/country whatsoever once the outbreak starts.

Many companies that oppose BYOD try to adopt these approaches. They institute rules and policies that discourage or even punish workers who use their personal smartphones or tablets on the corporate network, and they also try to seal off that network by denying access to any devices the company does not own.

Here's where the zombie analogy actually holds up: These strategies, just like the counterpart anti-zombie strategies, are doomed to fail. No matter how hard a firm tries, it is all but certain that employees will find ways to work around these deterrents and use their personal devices for work. The motivation is just too strong: People love their own devices and the convenience they offer.

Here's where it doesn't: BYOD isn't a mindless, destructive force. On the contrary, it's a valuable resource, a force for good, when harnessed correctly. Like if zombies could become productive members of your team, instead of trying to eat everyone's brains.

So yes, BYOD can spread like a zombie plague. But this isn't something to fight against. It's something to embrace.

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