Don’t Let BYOD Be The Death Of The IT Department

Bring Your Own Device

‘Enterprise mobility’ is no longer perceived as a phenomenon in the workplace; as BYOD has become normal procedure, even the phrase ‘enterprise mobility’ has become redundant and the practice has taken on a life of its own.

IT departments, who at one time worked only with standard-issue company hardware, now have the day-to-day task of dealing with a variety of operating systems on a wide range of devices, including laptops, iPhones, Android devices and tablets. It’s essential that the IT community take note of the ‘death of the idle enterprise’ and implement mobile policies which will complement these developments and ensure the efficiency of the BYOD enterprise.

New mobile trends will inevitably surface alongside these changes –

Enterprise applications will leave operating systems behind

Operating systems are no longer number one on employees’ hot lists – instead, the focus has shifted onto applications, which are becoming more valuable in the eyes of the employee. Regardless of the operating system, the device or even the amount of devices, IT departments need to allow employees to be productive by ensuring a secure enterprise and a seamless user experience.

Gartner noted that, “By 2014, most organisations will deliver mobile applications to workers through private application stores.” Despite the security, licensing and technological challenges facing IT, the industry must alter its management of apps to ensure that our app-hungry environment is satisfied.

Managing devices – a necessity as opposed to a desire

The front runner in the future mobile enterprise market has yet to emerge, with experts having difficulty predicting which mobile device will prevail. It’s been calculated that Windows phones will make up 20 percent of handsets sold by 2015, a far cry from their dominance in the desktop market.

This figure, combined with Android’s failure to tackle compliance problems, iPhone’s consumer market and Blackberry’s lack of technical progress means that fully predicting a BYOD favourite is a near impossible task. What is expected is that by 2013, the most common Web access device will be the mobile phone, a trend which demonstrates the vital importance for IT departments to secure different mobile devices and know the different features of each.

Blackberry, the longstanding mobile device of choice for business users, had begun to lag behind competitors in terms of innovation yet it’s still possible that the release of the Blackberry 10 may put them back towards the forefront of enterprise mobility. What’s certain is that IT departments must implement flexible procedures, ensuring that multiple devices are supported and that as a result there is no need to overhaul policies when a new device is released.

IT – the consumer dominated industry

As the IT industry has continued to be consumerised and users have become more technologically savvy, so too has a BYOD work environment become the norm, no longer reserved for a select group of executives demanding policy exceptions. As such, the relationship between IT and the workforce has fundamentally changed.

The people now hold the authority, a shift which IT departments must embrace and adapt to, ultimately striving for the perfect balance between freedom of choice and data protection. This can be a challenge, but is certainly not impossible when applying an incremental method.

Security risks significantly increase when corporate data is mobile and as Windows is now just one of many prominent operating systems in the mobile enterprise market, it’s essential that IT departments are well acquainted with whatever platform is thrown their way. Policies and resolutions should be properly implemented across all devices, platforms and applications to ensure that the enterprise remains secure. The BYOD model is very much alive – it’s critical that IT departments take immediate steps to guarantee the protection of corporate data.

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Justin Strong

Justin Strong loves technology and how it constantly changes the world we live in. Over the last 15 years he has spent time designing, marketing and selling both hardware and software ranging from complex proprietary wireless solutions to Web-based cloud solutions and more. As Novell’s Senior Global Product Marketing Manager for the ZENworks portfolio of Systems/Endpoint Management product, he is responsible for helping customers get what they need from their technology, including how to manage and secure their device fleets of desktops, laptops smartphones and tablets. He is also the founder of Pixelture, a software company focused on in-room group collaboration. He holds a BS in Psychology from the University of Utah and an MBA from Brigham Young University.