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IT chiefs choose Choose-YOD over full fat BYOD for now

BYO: Sounds great but security corkage wipes out saving

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Insight EMEA boss Stuart Fenton says BYOD is failing to set the world alight: but a half-fat version is gaining some traction within enterprises.

Talking at the annual Insight Technology Show 2013, attended by some 2,000 representatives at 1,500 customers, Fenton told The Channel that "Choose YOD" is whipping up some interest.

"We are building a range of tools to help clients do BYOD. At the moment we think BYOD is still confined to smartphone and a little bit of tablet, particularly the iPad," he told us.

"We are not seeing it bleed across to PCs. What we do think is happening in the enterprise is CYOD where enterprises are focused fairly heavily on providing choice," Fenton added.

He said the "security issue" of BYOD was mitigated by opting instead for a small menu of configurations, with an image for each, that are easier for IT directors to lock down and manage.

An Insight poll of 232 IT bosses in Blighty last autumn showed that a whopping 79 per cent were not drafting a plan to let employees buy their own kit for work and home use.

At the time, Insight warned it would be 12 months before tech vendors had tools to make BYOD more of a reality for the channel, and it seems some IT pros at the show were in agreement.

BYOD helps IT directors save money on device procurement, said Paul Measom, systems engineer at the University of Leicester: but the resultant security and staff training may counter this.

He added that it's also "questionable" if BYOD makes people more productive: "I guess it depends on the nature of [the employee] we are supporting".

Clifford Codrington, IT lord at Nottingham Community and Voluntary Services, was more open minded about the perceived benefits of flexible working - but he warned: "Security is the main issue for us".

Bryan Herbert, network manager at Norfolk-based Northgate High School, said the school issued iPads to teachers and had received demand from students to take their devices into the classroom.

"We have not invested enough in the infrastructure to facilitate BYOD," he said, "we are considering widening access - but we need to make sure devices on the network are tied down." ®

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