Feature Article

March 26, 2014

Are You Ready for BYOD?

The idea that the world has gone mobile is not a new concept. Cell phones have been a mainstay for sales teams and field professionals for a number of years. What has changed in the last few, however, are the tools available to access the network from just about any location. The adoption of smartphones and tablets has changed the landscape from one of staying connected to one of staying immersed.

This is a good change, however, as professionals traveling to meet a partner or client can access exactly what they need, regardless of their location. It helps keep projects on task, travel more efficient and companies more competitive.

What many are now considering is much more than just supporting the mobile initiative. Today, companies are considering the opportunity to allow employees to pick their own device and use it to balance both work and home-life. It’s an opportunity to reduce the number of devices on hand, yet increase the risk of out-of-policy use and the mix of baby photos and annual reports.

While solutions are available that can prevent the mixing of important information, companies embracing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) need to do more than just grant employees the right permissions. They have to develop policies that govern acquisition, use and access and enforce them on a regular basis.

According to Gartner, half of the companies in the world will embrace BYOD by 2017, putting tremendous responsibility on the part of the IT manager to put the right securities and controls in place to ensure proper use and access to network access. Companies can’t afford for an employee to be so sloppy in their use of a smartphone to access the network that they leave other channels open for hackers. One of the ways to prevent this challenge is to eliminate some of the channels and put the right protections in place.

As such, the BYOD policy has to outline what kinds of behaviors are acceptable and what puts the company at risk. It also needs to direct IT on what solutions need to be in place to ensure safe use of the network and supporting assets, given that employees are likely to use an online app that presents higher risk than the average. Mobile device management and other solutions can help put the right processes and protections in place to ensure productive use.

For a real-world look at the adoption of BYOD, MobilityTechzone’s Rachel Ramsey invited Barry University into the TMC newsroom at ITEXPO. The university had recently adapted to BYOE, or Bring Your Own Everything, and is taking advantage of the resources available in the cloud. To learn from their experience, check out their conversation in full in this ITEXPO video.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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