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BYOD: The Silent Revolution

Rosalind See | Dec. 3, 2012
The BYOD trend will have significant impact on how work patterns will change, and how CIOs need to manage and control.

Securing policies on applications, however, is a huge challenge. "As applications are being downloaded into machines, there is a need to ensure enterprise mobility policies protect organisations while fully utilising the strategic advantages it provides," said Cocks. "In addition to security and compliance, CIOs have to work out the operational challenges of supporting devices, applications and connectivity, as well as consider the impact of cloud in this environment."

A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dimension Data in August 2011 focused on the move from PC-based computing towards user-based computing. "Client virtualisation is recognised as an important first step towards the virtual workspace, and the impending end-of-support for Windows XP, scheduled for April 2014, has spurred desktop virtualisation," said Cocks.

The study showed that organisations are moving away from on-premise to cloud-hosted solutions. It also highlighted the pressure faced by IT leaders to support employee-owned devices. BYOD programmes are driving firms to think differently with self-provisioning, lower costs and end-user preferences driving firms to embrace the device-office concept.

Data ownership is a critical aspect for organisations which adopt BYOD. "Data ownership has to be clearly defined. Organisations have to set firm policies which clearly states that company data is owned and controlled by the organisation. They have to decide the type of data they allow onto the devices, whether data can be saved on the devices and the ability to 'containerise' data on these devices," said Cocks. "They also need to consider mobile device management (MDM) solutions which suit their organisation."

Enterprise mobility framework
An enterprise mobility framework addressed such issues as well as the setting-up of an infrastructure which supported a mobile platform. Dimension Data had identified four major building blocks in meeting these challenges. Firstly, consultation services helped organisations decide what they wanted to achieve through their BYOD policy and how this could be done.

Neville Burdan
Photo: Neville Burdan, Dimension Data.

"Every client has a different requirement. Each client has to understand where it is currently in its BYOD journey and where it wanted to go," said Neville Burdan, General Manager, Virtualisation and Microsoft Solutions, Solutions Development Group, Dimension Data Asia Pacific. "There are legal and technical considerations relating to data. Policies have to clearly state data ownership expectations."

He continued, "Clients also have to consider whether their IT architecture allows them to pursue their BYOD vision. They have to decide how much responsibility over devices and services they are willing and able to take."

Burdan warned organisations to set up their BYOD policies upfront. "Such policies cannot be retrofitted after implementation," he said. "It will be more difficult to enforce as employees are less willing to sign documents agreeing to BYOD conditions after they have started using their devices." 


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