Close-up-of-businessman-using-tablet-computer-smDid you BYOD to work today? BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, has been evolving as a business practice since at least 2009 in many industries. The idea of employees using their own laptops, tablets or cellphones for work has many supporters and many skeptics, especially those worried about security.

Regardless of viewpoint, BYOD is here to stay. A November 2014 study from Tech Pro Research found 74 percent of responding companies permit or plan to permit BYOD. Their study also looked into the impact wearables and the IoT (Internet of Things) are having on BYOD policies.

The BYOD movement is not unlike the movement toward embedded self-service business intelligence in work applications. The workplace is changing, and technology must adapt to user expectations. Millennials now comprise more than one-third of the workforce. By 2020, that percentage will be nearly half. A generation of digital natives, plus increasingly tech-savvy GenXers and Boomers, expect their work applications to be easy-to-use and portable.

The rise of BYOD and demand for self-service BI have their roots in the same spaces — the consumerization and democratization of IT and BI practices. In the business world, application users want to do their jobs at whatever hour they want, where they want and on whatever device they are using. Users want access to actionable data in real time. Both movements face questions in some corners, whether the C-suite or IT departments, because there are concerns about control of business processes, hidden costs, or security. And both movements have widely varying solutions to those challenges, with varying degrees of effectiveness.

Dealing with Issues, Hidden Costs

BYOD was originally conceived as a way for organizations to cut hardware and software costs and even relieve some of the support burdens from busy IT departments. However, not everyone is painting rosy results. An article on CIO.com points out a number of unexpected issues with BYOD: “BYOD is riddled with hidden costs, such as expense report processing, management (including MDM software), employees gaming expenses, zombie phones attacking the mobile budget, messy conversion of phone service liability, among other issues.” MDM refers to Mobile Device Management.

The article details another pitfall in BYOD adoption: “In a push to safeguard corporate data on BYOD phones and tablets, companies began drafting BYOD user policies chock full of legalese favoring a company’s right to monitor, access, review and disclose company or other data on a mobile device.”

Privacy became a concern for employees, according to the article. The article notes that BYOD has not made life easier for IT, with a wide variety of devices to support and monitor. And it quotes a spring 2014 survey by CompTIA that found anywhere from 39 percent to 51 percent of respondents are not doing BYOD at all.

Right Mix of Culture and Security

So which perspective is correct? Is BYOD overly hyped? Is it a good or bad idea? For Praniti Titavunno of Oracle, the answer lies in worrying less about devices and more about a flexible strategy, one that is a mix of the right company culture and a robust, enterprise-wide take on security. “Culturally, business executives need to be able to have complete confidence in their IT department and the technology framework they have in place to secure employee devices. Employees, meanwhile, need to rest assured that their device cannot compromise the enterprise and that, conversely, their own private data cannot be viewed by anyone in the business,” Titavunno writes.

Many of the same issues have impacted the evolution and growth of self-service BI tools. Organizations are making more data-driven decisions, and enterprise users expect to be able to create their own ad hoc reports, dashboards and visualizations. Building your own BI platform can be a costly task, and can prove to be difficult to support without the proper resources. There are the hidden costs of taking developers away from working on the core competencies of the business.

Choosing a BI vendor requires careful consideration because the right solution must not only fit your budget, it must also fit with your business culture. The value of using a trusted BI vendor is that it enables developers to focus on what they do best. Any BI solution needs to be secure, and not just another source for IT headaches.

Izenda’s embedded solution assures stronger user adoption and satisfaction because users don’t have to learn a new interface. Users are free to explore reports, dashboards and visualizations in real-time within the applications they use every day. Instead of introducing yet another security endpoint for IT to administer, Izenda dynamically inherits the rules, practices and policies of your application.

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