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Waiting for BYOD: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts

July 21, 2014 by

When the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend first appeared on the scene, many saw the strategy as reckless, disruptive, and dangerous. IT leaders fretted - "How can we secure the company network if everyone's using their own devices? How do we ensure security and compatibility?" Better to simply forbid the use of personal devices for work and rely instead on company-issued phones.

That was then. Now, the tide is changing. More business leaders are realizing that it's simply not realistic to ban BYOD. Employees want to use their own devices, the devices they are comfortable with. An anti-BYOD policy may work for a while, but eventually workers will grow fed up and disregard the company rules. When that happens, the true risk sets in, as employees are now accessing corporate data and networks with zero IT oversight.

Embracing BYOD in the context of a broader unified communications strategy can be safe, secure, and efficient. Workers feel liberated and more productive.

This holds true for virtually every company in every industry. Your employees want BYOD. They're eager for it. And the longer you take, the more doubts will start to seep in. Your workers may feel like they're stuck in some sort of existential no man's land, waiting for something that will never arrive.

Scene: An office. Cubicles. Morning.

ESTRAGON and VLADIMIR, two salesmen. Each holds a company-issued Blackberry. Neither appears very happy.

ESTRAGON: BYOD should be here. VLADIMIR: The boss didn't say for sure it'd come. ESTRAGON: And if it doesn't come? VLADIMIR: We'll wait until tomorrow before we use our own devices. ESTRAGON: And then the day after tomorrow. VLADIMIR: Possibly. ESTRAGON: Possibly. VLADIMIR: The point is - ESTRAGON: Until it comes. VLADIMIR: You're merciless.

Time passes.

VLADIMIR: Well? What do we do? ESTRAGON: Don't let's do anything. It's safer. VLADIMIR: Let's wait and see what he says. ESTRAGON: Who? VLADIMIR: The boss. ESTRAGON: Good idea. VLADIMIR: Let's wait till we know exactly how we stand. ESTRAGON: On the other hand, it might be better to strike the iron before it freezes. VLADIMIR: I'm curious to hear what he has to offer. Then we'll take it or leave it. ESTRAGON: What exactly did we ask him for? VLADIMIR: Oh, nothing much. Just to use our personal devices for work-related purposes. ESTRAGON: And what did he reply? VLADIMIR: That he'd see. ESTRAGON: That he couldn't promise anything. VLADIMIR: That he'd have to think it over. ESTRAGON: In the quiet of his home. VLADIMIR: Consult his family. ESTRAGON: His friends. VLADIMIR: His agents. ESTRAGON: His correspondents. VLADIMIR: His books. ESTRAGON: His bank account. VLADIMIR: Before making a decision. ESTRAGON: It's the normal thing.

Except it's not the normal thing anymore. Now, holding off on BYOD is outdated. If you put your employees into this position, they'll eventually realize the moral of the story: BYOD's not coming. And it's time to move on - to another company.

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