What Is Going Wrong With BYOD?

For the past couple of years, tech pundits have been pounding the Bring Your Own Device drumbeat to such a fast and lively rhythm that you'd think just about everyone was dancing to it.

Some industry watchers have even predicted the coming of a BYOD mandate, whereby employers would require employees to provide their own smartphones and perhaps tablets as a condition of employment.

But is reality matching the hype? Not really.

CompTIA's spring survey of 400 IT and business executives shed light on what it calls the sorry state of BYOD: Depending on the size of the company, anywhere from 39 percent to 51 percent of respondents are not doing BYOD at all. Nada. Zip.

[Related: 12 Big BYOD Predictions for 2014]

"BYOD is popular, but there are still a lot of companies at least attempting to control all mobile device deployment and management," says Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis at CompTIA. "The number of companies not doing BYOD is a lot higher than you'd think given all the hype around the term."

Sure, the tech industry's hype cycle often runs ahead of reality, but a slowdown in BYOD adoption seems especially startling. Gartner, for instance, gave BYOD its stamp of approval by predicting that half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes by 2017.

Tech pros with BYOD-related skills are in hot demand. BYOD resonates with coveted millennial workers and their blended work-life lifestyle. And a swath of CIOs told CIO.com that they're jumping on the BYOD bandwagon.

[Related: BYOD Became the 'New Normal' in 2013]

Moreover, BYOD has spawned high-value companies in the hot mobile device management space, such as MobileIron, which raised $100 million in its initial public offering this week, and Airwatch, which was acquired by VMware earlier this year for $1.54 billion. The MDM market is expected to hit nearly $4 billion by 2019.

BYOD Reality Check From CompTIA

Then there's the CompTIA survey that flies in the face of conventional wisdom, not to mention billions of dollars and lofty predictions, showing BYOD shunned by one out of two companies.

What's behind this harsh BYOD reality check? If you stop and think about all the troubles early BYOD adopters have faced over the last couple of years, the CompTIA survey findings begin to make sense. Companies watching these early adopters stumble along are no doubt thinking twice about BYOD.

Let us count the BYOD blunders:

With so many loaded guns leveled at BYOD -- myriad complexities, hidden costs, security risk, privacy concerns and so few benefits -- it's no wonder companies are balking. So where does BYOD go from here? Are we nearing a high-water mark for BYOD adoption?

"I don't know if we're going to see the numbers move dramatically over the next few years," CompTIA's Robinson says.

Tom Kaneshige covers Apple, BYOD and Consumerization of IT for CIO.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @kaneshige. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. Email Tom at tkaneshige@cio.com

Read more about byod in CIO's BYOD Drilldown.

This story, "What Is Going Wrong With BYOD?" was originally published by CIO .

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