Bring-your-own-device strategies may have benefited a lot of enterprise companies but as the Canadian Diabetes Association recently found out, it’s not an ideal solution for every organization.
Although the CDA is more of a medium-sized organization, its experience and the lessons it learned can be applied to large enterprises as well.
What soon followed was a security and device management bedlam for the non-profit organization’s five-person IT staff, according to Nigel Carpenter, chief information officer of CDA who arrived at the organization just as the BYOD program was in full swing. Shortly after CDA recognized the negative impact of BYOD, Carpenter and his team marshaled a transition to a centralized mobile communication system based on the BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) Enterprise Server.
The CDA’s BYOD program came under two types:
There were over 100 users who were signed up for the subsidized program.
“Because people were free to approach any carrier, we ended up with a subsidizing a large number of devices of under different contracts,” said Carpenter. “CDA was not able to take advantage of discount rates on services such as data, voice or long distance that bulk subscribers might have had.”
The assortment of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android and BlackBerry OS-powered devices also resulted in a management and security issue for the IT department. IT staff ended up handling security issues for smart phones and tablets coming from multiple device manufacturers.
The more taxing concern however was managing the organization’s security certificates. As health care organization, the CDA is required every 90 days to regularly refresh credential and user certificates for user’s whose device are hooked up to the network to ensure privacy and data protection.
The BYOD program did not have a feature that would allow automated rollout of certificates. There was also no way for the It staff to monitor which device was approaching its scheduled certificate refresh.
Typically it was up to the device owner to manage their own credential updates.
“Unfortunately some of the BYOD workers were not sure how to do this were simply not diligent about it,” said Carpenter. “The result was periodically, a number of devices would be locked out of the system and IT had to work on each device from 15 to 20 minute to get it up and running.”
After going through analyzing various options, the CDA decided last summer to replace scrap its BYOD program and centralize its mobile communications using BlackBerry Enterprise Service and BlackBerry devices.
The initial deployment involved 130 BlackBerry Bold 9900 smart phones and 20 PlayBook tablet devices. Today CDA has upgraded to the new BES 10 and Q10 QWERTY keyboard smart phones and still have the PlayBooks around.
The CDA assumed the liabilities of their users for cancelling existing smart phone plans but the organization figures it can cut its mobile expenses by as much as $250,000 over the next three years. The savings includes improved rates on data cost, long distance charges and hardware upgrades.
Staff members are able to separate corporate and personal apps and data on the BlackBerry devices using the Balance mobile device management feature.