BYOD: Good for whom exactly?

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What we usually hear is that the 'bring your own device' concept brings problems for IT but is cool for users. But is it really that good an idea for them?

A lot of people love the idea of bringing their own computer, Android phone or iPad to work. This trend, called "bring your own device" (BYOD), is catching on in the corporate world. At some companies, workers are no longer provisioned with laptops and cellphones. They just bring their own and add them to the corporate network. CEOs and CFOs in particular seem to love this concept. As for IT departments, they're usually not thrilled that they have to support equipment they may not know a thing about and add new services to support a wide range of personal tech. Nevertheless, even technology giants like IBM, which is letting its 200,000 workers use their own tablets, iPhones or Android smartphones, are embracing the concept.

Hurray, right? Freedom of choice rules! Or does it? Let's think this over.

I know I'm not the average user, but I have an iPad and several Android phones and tablets. I'm self-employed, so I had to pay for them myself. I also have to pay for my Internet and 3G data services. If I worked at a company with a BYOD policy, I would still have to pay for my devices and services. At many companies, I'd also have to load the official virtual private network client and programs for e-mail.

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