Right now, every company is buzzing about the increasingly popular BYOD trend, otherwise known as bring your own device—a strategy that allows employees to use their device of choice—whether it is a smartphone, tablet or both for personal and corporate use alike. Although this can help to cut costs significantly for companies as well as improve productivity amongst remote workers, what does it truly mean to an employee and what role does mobile device management play in these corporations?
As a new hire, BYOD enables you bring whatever smartphone, tablet or computer that you wish and still have access to the applications and data that is needed to complete your job. However, the biggest challenge organizations are facing when adopting this trend is the security of corporate data.
“From an end-user perspective, it’s the possibility that your device will be forced to have policies and things enforced on it that could cause you to lose everything on your device in the event of the device being lost or stolen or you being fired. Today, a lot of devices out there don’t have support for isolating the data to different groups so that in some cases users will have everything deleted, no matter if it was for personal or business use,” according to Rocky Giglio, VMware/Microsoft (News - Alert) practice director.
In fact, Giglio recommends that if you’re starting a new job, there are certain things to consider when it comes to BYOD, both good and bad. On the brighter side, there is the ease of use as it’s your gear, you know how to use it, you know where everything is and it is comfortable. But looking at the darker side of things, remain mindful of the wandering eye of the IT guy because your IT department has access to your personal device and that means everything, including things you may not want them looking at.
Additionally, certain applications not designed for specific devices could make it extremely difficult to seamlessly integrate just released apps onto your device. He added, “Yet, that is changing as more and more as applications are written for BYOD in particular.”
In coming months, the BYOD space will only continue to grow and blossom like a flower in the future as it moves towards applications that are run in the cloud and are completely Web-based. More applications will continue to be written in a way that they can be consumed in a Web page, allowing the data to begin residing back in the data center.
When asked if Giglio feels that mobile device management solutions like those provided by MobileIron are vital for protecting companies embracing BYOD, he stated, “Mobile device management is critical. If you’re going to utilize a BYOD program, it really is I think critical to think about the solution that you’re going to use to provide security for your data and applications when they go out on employee owned devices. You really need something that allows you to control when, where and how employees access data and then what to do with that data if the device is lost or stolen.”
Some considerations to take into account before implementing BYOD include:
While BYOD enables employees to leverage virtually any device from anywhere, the application itself may not function on certain smartphones or tablets, so make sure they are ready for end-users to start consuming them on the mobile platform right away.
Looking at where and how those applications are going to be accessed in addition to the ability to control that threat and where users are accessing data and applications is vital.
- Testing the network itself to see if it’s ready
Oftentimes people are walking around with two to three devices, so it crucial that your network can handle these high bandwidth demands.
As this trend will only continue to spread like wild fire, if your business hasn’t hopped onto the BYOD train yet, you should before it is chugs too far away from the station.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.