Creating the Perfect BYOD Recipe

The perfect BYOD recipe: "Finding the balance between protecting corporate data and providing privacy"!

I was just listening to Jon Stewart interview NY Times writer Michael Moss about his new book Salt Sugar Fat and he said something that struck a chord with me. He was talking about the science of creating food and something called the "Bliss factor." That perfect balance that will ensure that the products are a smash hit with consumers. That's where I want to go with BYOD (Bring your own device) policy. I've been searching for that perfect mix of hardware, software and education that will protect my IP—yet give my consumers that rush they get when eating a Twinkie. OK, I know it's a bit of flight-o-fancy to think that a BYOD policy can compare to a Twinkie (they are coming back!), but why not, why not venture out on that quest, at least for a little bit.  

What I'm really talking about here is balance— finding the balance between protecting corporate data and providing privacy—and there is no silver bullet to accomplish this. There are hardware products that can shut things down, there are software products that can white-list/black-list and there are harsh policy statements that companies can make that would make Dante sit back and rethink the number of circles. But, if you take a pinch of each, add a little love and tenderness, mix 'em up and cook them just right, then test them over and over until you find the right mix, you can find reach that "Bliss factor". Then your IT and Governance people can keep calm and carry on while providing world-class apps and services to your customers.

Adding your own special touch to the recipe

As you look at creating your own BYOD special sauce, you have to start with acceptance. BYOD is here, whether you allow it or not, it will occur to some extent. In a recent article for, 9 keys to making BYOD work, Kevin McCaney referenced a great infographic that shows 81 percent of people surveyed use their personal devices for corporate data, and a whopping 66 percent say their company doesn't have a proper BYOD policy implemented. That second stat is a bit frightening and I would hazard to guess that a majority of those 66 percent work for companies that actually have BYOD policies, but the respondents were either unaware of them, ignored them, or just didn't understand them. That just goes to show that a policy isn't enough, it has to be a policy that makes sense from a corporate and consumer level. It has to be easy to maintain and is disseminated to the users in a proactive fashion.

With that in mind, here's a simple (well not really but that's what they say in the cookbooks) recipe for implementing BYOD.

Mike's Almost Famous BYOD

1 Secure gateway
1 MDM package (Mobile Device Management)
1 MAM package (Media Asset Manager)
A Pinch of Secure cloud
Bunch of Phones
Bunch of Tablets
Smidgen of Hybrids
1 Security policy
1 Data Governance policy
Little bit of sugar

Gently fold your secure gateway with your MDM and MAM packages, blend until smooth. Bake these ingredients until golden brown, this can take upwards of a couple years ;> unless you learn from the trials and tribulations of those who have gone before (do your research). Write a clear and concise security policy coupled with a governance policy that is distributed to both your internal developers and your end consumers. Be sure to tailor these policies to taste and add the little bit of sugar when sending out to the end users.

Let all ingredients sit and be reviewed for a bit on the counter by various groups including: security, support, marketing, infrastructure and legal. Once cooled, gently place on top of phones, tablets and hybrids, and “poof” you have a beautiful creation that provides that wonderful "Bliss factor" when consumed.

(Editors Note:  Need a professional chef to bring this all together?  We've got a few on our staff with lots of experience with varisous devices and finding really creative ways of securely integrating tablets, smartphones and devices into businesses and organizations!)

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