Not a week goes by that I don't receive a press release or read a news article about some new product or other that "solves BYOD." Vendors and customers that look at BYOD as a problem to solve, and not an opportunity to take advantage of, are missing the point.
The bring your own device (BYOD) trend is happening because workers want to be more flexible, efficient and, ultimately, productive. That is not a problem. The problem is that the tools you've given your employees all these years -- the three-year-old BlackBerry, the Web app that only works in Internet Explorer 6, the VPN that takes five minutes to sign on to -- no longer cut it. BYOD is users' response to the problem. What will your response be?
You can adopt a formal BYOD program, putting policies and products into place that strike the right balance between user freedom and corporate security. Just make sure you choose this route for the right reasons. (Hint: Don't do it expecting huge BYOD cost savings.)
If the idea of letting any old smartphone or tablet off the street onto your corporate network freaks you out, you can limit the personal devices you'll support, or you can buy specific devices for employees. This corporate-issued model is something a lot of organizations are familiar with thanks to BlackBerry, so it may be a better fit for some -- as long as you buy devices that employees will want to use, and you don't lock them down so much that you take away their consumer appeal. "WHAT? NO YOUTUBE?!?!?"
The enterprise mobility management approach you choose will depend on your organization's goals, security requirements and risk tolerance, as well as your users' needs. It really doesn't matter which technologies and policies you implement, as long as they enable employees to be more productive and give IT the level of security and control it needs (not wants; those are often two very different things).
BYOD is disruptive. It brings challenges. It takes control out of IT's hands. But these issues are simply the natural fallout from IT's inability to keep up with users' technology needs. That is the problem that needs to be solved.