The consumerization of IT is in full swing and decision-makers around the world are implementing mobile strategies, cloud computing initiatives and social media programs to meet the evolving demands of employees and consumers.
In regard to mobility, the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon is currently disrupting the enterprise on a global scale and leaving concern in its wake. According to a new study by Gartner, roughly 90 percent of businesses have already deployed mobile devices in the office, with smartphones as the most commonly used platforms. Tablets, however, are gaining momentum, as approximately 86 percent of decision-makers plan to use these gadgets in 2012.
The increasing presence of Generation Y employees is the main driver behind BYOD and similar mobile strategies, according to Gartner. These workers were raised in an era when mobility was king. When Gen Y entered the workforce, companies were forced to deploy programs that appealed to new demands if they wanted to remain competitive with rival firms.
Gartner also noted that the continuing advancement of mobile devices will drive BYOD initiatives forward.
"Healthy growth in smartphone and media tablet shipments over the next five years will enable a much higher level of IT consumerization than is currently possible," Gartner research director Chae-Gi Lee said. "Enterprises should recognize this and look to 'mobile enable' their IT infrastructure for employees to meet the growing demand for mobile device use in the enterprise IT environment."
Deploying mobile initiatives requires IT departments to monitor data security to ensure no mission-critical applications or data becomes exposed. Gartner noted that many companies are tackling IT security issues by providing technical support to employees, as 32 percent and 37 percent of survey respondents offer smartphone and tablet support, respectively.
BYOD programs also require the use of mobile device management (MDM) tools to monitor, protect and support the growing number of personal electronics in the workplace. Data protection concerns associated with BYOD, however, occur more frequently in developed markets, as emerging countries are more focused on other aspects of the programs.
"Mature countries consider BYOD programs as bringing with them both legal and technical issues, whereas emerging countries only see technical issues," Lee said. "For instance, mature regions are more concerned with security and data privacy regulations for immature MDM than emerging regions."
In addition to BYOD, cloud computing is creating a lot of stir in the enterprise, especially as businesses continue to worry how well a service provider can protect valuable assets. As a result of these concerns, decision-makers are deploying varying approaches to the technology, as some companies prefer private clouds to public environments.
According to a new study by RightScale, the majority of companies are taking a multi-cloud approach to the hosted services, as more than 50 percent of respondents are leveraging hybrid cloud models. IT executives also vary on which types of clouds they prefer, as 23 percent prioritize the private cloud computing aspect of the initiatives rather than focusing on the public architecture. This is most likely because IT departments can implement more robust and customized data protection tools when the cloud is hosted privately.
RightScale CEO Michael Crandell asserted that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cloud computing. The same can be said for virtually every type of technology, including the adoption of smartphones and tablets. Decision-makers need to find what approach best suits their needs, can fulfill the demands of the company and still ensure all mission-critical applications and data remain protected.
Security News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro