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BLOG: Getting the better of the BYOD headache

Terry Smagh | Sept. 17, 2012
How CIOs can use BYOD policies to their advantage.

Smartphones, tablets and other devices are undeniably gaining more ground in the workplace. Research from BI Intelligence, the research arm of Business Insider, shows that tablet sales are going to hit 500 million by 2015, which means that a shift away from traditional desktop and PC work stations is becoming ever more likely. In fact, following the Christmas season, a number of employees showed up to work in January with the new gadgets they received for Christmas, expecting these to be linked up to the organisation's systems so they could access company data on the go. Cue many headaches for CIOs.

The 'consumerisation of IT' trend is one that organisations are encouraging, with research we conducted showing more than 90 percent of people believe mobile technology is not only 'useful' but, in fact 'crucial' to their business. Furthermore, the vast majority (70 percent) agreed that the movement should be supported by making a greater range of business-related apps available and easy to use on mobile platforms.

We're obviously so used to using sophisticated mobile applications and devices in our home lives that we're starting to demand this be replicated in our working lives too. This is not only for improved mobility, but also because the technology we have at home is generally more intuitive, and has better functionality, than the devices supplied by our employers.

However, what this new breed of consumer employees doesn't realise is that, in many cases, this is putting a greater onus on the IT department. Not only are they tasked with having to find a way to get the device connected to the network, but they also have to ensure there is enough capacity available to handle the devices, and to ensure that all access is secure.

They may also have to install software and buy more licences so that the data can be rendered on a mobile device, this was not such a problem when only the chosen few were allowed access but as the audience grows so can the costs. As soon as an employee downloads data onto their own device, an organisation is at risk of confidential and sensitive data being lost as the employee may misplace the device or leave the company, taking valuable information with them. After all, many a business is only as strong as the information it stores.

Browser-based tools

So, how to make life easier for the IT department just when everything is becoming more complex? Implementing browser-based tools where possible is the way forward in making their lives easier. For starters, deploying browser-based solutions across an entire company is simple and fast - all anyone needs is access to a browser - no matter whether they are using their PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Meanwhile, all information is stored in-memory, so is kept off the device when not connected, which minimises the risk of a leak. 


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