I see an increasing number of employees using their own devices for work purposes. Many are evading corporate policies and acceptable usage agreements as personal and corporate data becomes more integrated. This has caused a lot of scaremongering, and huge headaches for CIOs.
Originally, bringing your own device (BYOD) promised to cut hardware costs, as IT departments would not have to supply them. But how do you go about supporting and controlling diverse new devices on the network?
The answer for many seems to be to standardise on one OS, which will not be popular with users. BlackBerrys are historically more popular for business than the iPhone, but as iPads become more common, the power balance is shifting. Employing standardisation just to ease the issue of supporting and managing new devices is unrealistic and limiting.
Rather than giving in to the hype about the security implications, the focus should be on how all these new devices could in fact improve employee productivity and create better business outcomes. Emerging technologies in the mobile security and management space are now answering the question of how to regain control on the corporate network.
Mobile device management technology can manage and support all new and existing devices under one umbrella, regardless of OS or number of units. Functions such as remote wiping provide a safety net for those who want to concentrate on choosing the best technology for the needs of the company, rather than worrying about how to support it.
This also means that those employees who work remotely are still protected within the corporate network. There remains one central point of control and complete visibility over all the devices within the network and those used remotely.
Many businesses do not really want to be backed into a corner and forced to choose one device over another, when there is such innovation in the mobile world that promises to make our working and personal lives easier and more functional.
While the mobile arena is expanding so rapidly, many organisations are struggling to keep up when it comes to securing these devices. It is now the channel’s responsibility to educate the market about the best way to proceed.
Alex Teh is commercial director and founder of Vigil Software
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