The bring-your-own-device model of enterprise mobility has grown from a fringe concern into a mainstream practice during the past several years as the release of robust consumer-based technology has completely transformed enterprise IT.
What was unheard of just three years ago has now become the norm, as more employees than ever before are gaining support from the IT department for their personally owned smartphones and tablets. And while BYOD has become a more accepted practice, much of the same data security and network protection concerns have persisted.
Still, business executives and IT departments alike have recognized the benefits of BYOD and it appears here to stay. Next year, according to the Cisco 2011 Annual Security Report, employers will work with end-users to find an agreement for consumerization. That way, companies can ensure their data is protected, while employees still enjoy anywhere, anytime access to the network.
“Enterprises across industries are starting to understand they must adapt soon to ‘consumerization of IT’ and the remote working trends already under way in their organizations,” the report stated. “It is becoming increasingly clear that if they don’t change, they cannot stay competitive, innovate, maintain a productive workforce, and attract and keep top talent.”
It’s certainly true that today’s connected generation of young professionals – those in the workforce who grew up with such devices – harbor a certain expectation when it comes to mobility. According to Cisco’s study, 30 percent of such employees polled by the company said the level of remote access would influence their decision to accept a job offer.
That’s why it’s important for organizations to work and compromise with employees when it comes to BYOD and data security policies. In a time when budgets remain tight and innovation may be sparse, a company’s talent could be what separates it from the pack.
“Enterprises and employees must find common ground, with the company recognizing the individual’s need to use the device of his or her choice and the worker understanding that the company must do whatever is necessary to enforce its security policy and stay in compliance with regulatory requirements related to data security,” according to the report.
Despite such challenges being presented by consumerization, companies can’t help but embrace the trend. That’s especially true, according to the results of a recent poll conducted by mobile device management solutions provider Good Technology, among large companies.
Of respondents with at least 2,000 employees, 80 percent said they have implemented a BYOD program. The figure stood at 60 percent for companies with more than 5,000 employees and 35 percent for those with at least 10,000 employees.
According to Cisco’s director of product management Russell Rice, many people don’t take the correct approach to managing a BYOD environment. That’s because many seem to think the programs only encompass the devices being used by employees. But they go much deeper than that.
“It’s about ensuring consistency of the user experience working from any device, whether it’s in a wired or wireless environment or in the cloud. It’s about the policy elements of interaction,” he said. “And it’s about your data, how it’s secured, and how it traverses inside all of those different environments.”
Earlier this month, analysts at Gartner announced they believe consumerization will be among the technology trends that will define the years to come. What’s more, the company’s annual report also noted that more employees soon will access email more so on mobile devices than desktop PCs, while mobile app development will outpace all others by four to one.
http://www.simplysecurity.com/category/spotlight/it_consumerization/Consumerization News from SimplySecurity.com by Trend Micro