Since the arrival of the iPad, IT has been constantly bombarded by end-users attempting to sneak personal devices onto the corporate infrastructure. The problem eventually grew so large and out of control that an entire industry had to be created around Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Weekly, we hear of one more company looking to get into the BYOD industry. Just over the weekend it was reported that Oracle has secretly acquired startup Bitzer Mobile. In fact, if you attempt to drop out the Bitzer Mobile's web site today, you'll be rerouted to an Oracle acquisitions page that states…
On November 15, 2013 Oracle announced it has acquired Bitzer Mobile, a provider of mobile applications management solutions that allow organizations to provide employees access to corporate data and applications from their mobile devices, to address the growing security needs created by the bring your own device (BYOD) movement. Bitzer Mobile augments Oracle's industry-leading portfolio of Fusion Middleware products, and is expected to be a core component to its mobile security strategy. Together, Oracle and Bitzer Mobile are expected to provide organizations with a comprehensive solution to further manage security of enterprise information held on personal and company-owned mobile devices. The transaction has closed.
So, it's true that the majority of vendors have gone gaga over BYOD. But, there's another sneaky movement on the horizon and I'm not sure IT is ready for the coming onslaught.
Though Wearables have been around forever, Google kind of restarted the movement with the still unreleased Google Glass and now Samsung has unleashed their first Galaxy Gear smartwatch. And, just like the originally-not-intended-for-business iPad, Wearables are on a crash course with the Enterprise. Both Apple and Microsoft are also on track to produce and release smartwatches, and if history is an indicator, Apple, of course, will attempt to take credit for the movement.
There's value in Wearables. Really. Imagine a business worker being able to utilize a smartwatch as a secure logon token, or being able to just glance at notifications during meetings instead of having to interrupt the presenter to yank a smartphone from the depths of a purse. Or, envision Google Glass with a Heads-up-display (HUD) that has face recognition tied to a corporate customer list.
But, just like BYOD, smartphones and other Wearables will introduce the same drawbacks. Security, privacy, and support still top the list of problems that will surface without available solutions. So, it's good to get a handle on this now, ensuring Bring Your Own Wearable (BYOW) doesn't surprise us like BYOD did. While it's impossible to employ technology now to catch this wave before it starts (because BYOD solutions are still horrible and half-concocted), it's shrewd for IT to put this on the list of future management support requests and begin to set policies.
Are you prepared for BYOW? Do you already have policies in place? Working on them? Or, will you rely on your BYOD policies to defend the castle?