BYOD Fairy Tales and other Fantasy Wish Fulfillment

Just like the persecuted scullery maid who marries a prince and thus escapes from the kitchen into the castle, so to do we keep witnessing businesses and schools pretending that BYOD security isn’t a big deal and that people will ‘do the right thing.’ Right…

The latest debacle to be reported comes from the Los Angeles  Unified School District who had embarked on a program of giving iPads to every student in the nation’s second largest school system. According to a story in the LA Times, it took less than a week for nearly 300 students in one school to figure out how to bypass the restrictions placed on the devices. And the school district was surprised? Read the whole AP story here.

Funny how I just had the conversation with a business owner about how iPad’s have limited security and centralized management capabilities and they were upset about it. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s by design and part of the Apple philosophy. But wishing it were different doesn’t make it so. Yet we continue to find business owners and educational administrators trying to fit the square peg into the round hole.

Does that mean it can’t be done? Not necessarily. There are some management products out there that can do great things for BYOD environments – HP’s Intelligent Management Center and related hardware/software is a good example. But good BYOD solutions primarily work at the network level and don’t try to implement security onto hundreds or thousands of endpoints. That defeats the goals of BYOD.

If you really want a fully secure and manageable endpoint solution, think about deploying Windows 8 tablets. All the security and management capabilities are built in to the OS and integrate fully with Active Directory for management and reporting. You can lock the tablets or desktops down as tight as you’d like. Some people don’t seem to understand that Microsoft developed all those technologies and components in their server and endpoint operating systems for a reason.

Would deploying a full BYOD management solution or a full Windows 8 solution be more complicated than just handing out iPads or Android tablets and hoping for the best? Sure, but there’s no free lunch – no matter how much some people wish there would be.



Author: Glenn Mores

President & CEO MicroData