Previously I had been talking about BYOD and the hardware implications for businesses and their IT departments; the headaches, the challenges, the costs.
I think it’s safe to assume the PC aspect of BYOD will continue to be a challenge. But it’s the new domain of tablets and Smartphones that has become the true bane of IT’s existence. With Smartphone adoption growing a rapid pace and overtaking the feature phone market and tablet growth growing a similarly alarming pace, IT departments are finding more and more employees asking for access to company e-mail and other information on their devices.
From a management perspective, it’s awesome! Employees want to be MORE productive by getting access to their work information whenever they want, wherever they are; insert image of a corporate manager with $$ for eyes here.
From an IT administration perspective, it’s a challenge. Can they support the device? Can the device adequately secure information? Can IT control the information on the device in the event it’s lost/stolen or the employee leaves the company?
My colleague, Liz Scott, hit the proverbial nail on the head earlier in the week when talking about BYOD. It’s becoming less about the devices themselves, and more about how to secure the information that resides on them.
There can be as many corporate policies and regulations as needed, but BYOD will always be a hardware management nightmare. There is no point in fighting that fight from an IT admin perspective. It now becomes about managing the devices that connect and have access to corporate information. That information, the intellectual property, is the currency that needs to be locked away and secured.
This is why data security and encryption solutions are a key part of any BYOD strategy. Being able to secure a device – whether that’s by encrypting all the information stored locally on that device, locking it with a PIN or password and adding in other fail safes – is where the focus should be. Find a solution that empowers IT to meet the needs of end users while at the same time ensuring the integrity of corporate data that those users are accessing.
There is no perfect solution to BYOD. It’s something that corporations have to adapt to and deal with and the best way to do that is via a strong data security and encryption solution. If the data is secure and protected from prying eyes, then BYOD becomes less of an issue and something that’s much easier for an organization to embrace.
And now for a shameless plug.