CIOs Need To Come To Terms With Gadget Buyers In The Workplace
By Mike Masnick, Fri May 13 00:45:00 GMT 2005

While plenty of companies have policies for people who want to buy PDAs or mobile phones -- many people prefer to buy their own. This is upsetting CIOs, but instead of complaining about it, they need to come up with real solutions.

Here's a business idea for a company working on some sort of enterprise security product: build a system to let all sorts of "non-approved" devices connect to a network securely. It appears that CIOs everywhere are screaming out for just such a solution.

Over the past few years corporate policies concerning buying mobile phones or other gadgets have fallen by the wayside. These devices are fashion statements, and people want to buy their own. In fact, this is often a good thing. With devices becoming ever cheaper, it's often individual employees who can first recognize how such a device can be useful in the corporate environment. Waiting to go through a long approval process from the IT staff would be inefficient (though, all too common).

While it's no surprise that the pace of these "outsider" purchases is increasing, what's odd is that CIOs still seem to just be complaining about it, rather than recognizing the trend for what it is, and working out solutions to manage the explosion of unauthorized devices on the network. While there are some organizations where it clearly does make sense to block off all such devices, in many cases, the efficiency of letting people bring their own solutions in can be beneficial to companies. All that's needed is a better security solution to make sure that any device connecting to the network isn't doing anything malicious -- which means monitoring actions and traffic more than identifying the device itself. A decent solution in that space would make a lot of CIOs very happy.