Once upon a time, IT departments controlled the kinds of mobile devices allowed to connect to their organizations’ networks. Laptops were issued, owned, controlled and maintained by IT. Only approved applications could be installed and run. It was all very tidy, users rarely complained and everyone lived happily ever after.
Well, those fairy-tale days are over. First, it was the doling out, albeit reluctantly, of Blackberry hand-held devices that could access e-mail servers. Then it was iPhones. And Android. And Windows Mobile. And tablets, lots of tablets. Today, with the multivendor, multiplatform BYOD (bring your own device) revolution in full swing, it’s more like the wild, wild west than Aesop’s fables. It’s enough to make any IT director wonder exactly when he or she lost control.
A decade ago, users set up their home offices to mimic their IT-prescribed office at work. Today, it’s just the opposite. “Organizations can no longer dictate what devices are allowed and not allowed into their work environment,” says Bob White, vice president at Red Thread, a Boston-based workspace architectural furniture and design consultancy. “Limit access to certain kinds of devices and people will get frustrated. You still need to attract and hire top talent, and those people want to work the way they want to work.”
Blame it on the consumerization of IT. Research firm Gartner is.
Speaking at a conference earlier this year, Terrence Cosgrove, research director at Gartner said