I thought about the acronym BYOD (bring your own device), and it sounded so familiar. Oh, yeah. It reminded me of BYOB— the common phrase that appears at the end of party invitations about what you need to bring and possibly share. So, what does that have to do with BYOD and mobile device management? I thought you’d never ask.


Now, apply this concept to bringing food to a party. Imagine inviting a group of guests and they each brought whatever they wanted — a potluck. But you didn’t know until they arrived what they chose. You didn’t ask them in advance. So you wound up with five desserts and six servings of chips and dip — not enough to feed a hungry group of people who want burgers, chicken, and fries. The whole party process just wasn’t centralized and managed effectively. People didn’t have access to all of the varieties of food they expected to eat. They left early in search of a fast food restaurant to satisfy their hunger. As the host, you’d be disappointed, especially when there are much better ways of managing the menu for such an event.


So, where does BYOD come in? First, think about the notion of bringing your personal device, such as a smartphone or tablet, to work. You want centralized access to the network from your device, but the network may not know who you are. As a result, you can’t satiate your hunger for access to the applications to do your job. It’s frustrating and slows you down. So, just like the host of the party who doesn’t know what people are bringing, and therefore can’t give them the positive experience they expect, IT struggles with supporting end users who drop in with personal devices and expect the same level of service as with their corporate devices.


But it doesn’t have to be this way. With mobile device management technology, your IT organization can manage personal devices with the same standards as any other corporate-owned device. By integrating the management of these devices into your service desk solution, IT can support personal devices without driving up costs. IT can allow people to bring their own devices to work while still protecting the organization from risk with a well-defined policy and effective supporting technology. BMC’s Jason Frye discusses how to make this happen in this article, “BYOD, the mobile workforce, and you.”