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BYOD is a wave that can't be stopped

Madura McCormack | Nov. 2, 2012
Emilio Umeoka from Juniper Networks shares his views on BYOD and its adoption

 After his keynote at the recent Canalys Channel Forum in Singapore, senior VP for worldwide partners at Juniper Networks Emilio Umeoka talks about his views on BYOD.

Where do you see BYOD heading in Asia?

When you look at different stages of adoption of technology, in a broad sense it [BYOD] is happening because the penetration of mobile devices here is quicker than anywhere else.

During your keynote you mentioned the need to balance user experience versus protection and security of company data. Can you elaborate?

That is the key challenge; it's how you balance user experience and protection. It's how you provision your users, what access they will have. One example would be a sales person versus a sales director. They will have different access within the network, to applications or software, in terms of how much they can view or what reports they can have access to.

The other challenge is how you keep the information on the device that is purely yours, and the company information that resides on the device. How do you mange that? That's an important aspect in terms of IT infrastructure as well as to the CIO. So you don't have intellectual property that can be stolen or breached, for example".

Users are now more outspoken on what they feel their needs are while the IT department wages a continuous war against vulnerabilities and privacy issues. Does a perfect balance even exist?

It would be tricky to balance user experience and protection; I think you can get to the optimum stage depending on the industry that you're in. Some are more regulated some are less regulated.

The balance doesn't need to be equal for everybody. SMBs would address policy needs very differently as compared to a government body.

In companies where sensitive data is not as prevalent, which factor becomes priority? Should there be a sacrifice when it comes to usability or is the ease of use more important than protecting company information?

I think it would depend on the company's' strategy. If you restrict too much on user ability, you might lose competitiveness or agility in terms of decision making. It could create a more complex environment and drive up cost because you could end up with users who have a dedicated company device and a device that is their own, in that way you're not addressing the complexity.

I don't think there's a simple solution to this issue.

Besides balancing user experience versus protection, do you feel IT needs to learn to be adaptive to the ever changing scene?

Four years ago when people were getting used to their new iPhone, they found a way to get all their e-mails on the device without protection from even a simple four-digit password. Companies all of a sudden realised how much data was exposed. So definitely, IT needs to be adaptive.


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