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Guest View: Power to the people with BYOD and BYOX

Michael Bosnar | July 3, 2013
Towards a people-centric IT management with bring-your-own-device, or anything else that employees use.

Whether your organisation is buying into the hype or not, the reality is that BYOD is here to stay. CIOs and IT departments need to accept the reality that more employees today are using multiple devices to carry out their work. Especially in a region like Asia Pacific where the smartphones penetration rate continues to grow at 20 percent year-on-year[i], organisations will see more devices of various brands and models, generations and operating systems being part of the workforce. Recent data from Gartner highlights that consumerisation of IT is prompting 38 percent of companies to stop providing devices to workers by 2017, suggesting a shift in device management strategies within IT departments.[ii]

Essentially, this shift strengthens the proposition that more organisations are convinced that the benefits of enterprise mobility outweigh the potential challenges as they continue to embrace the trend. Yet despite the growing adoption of BYOD in the workplace, employees still find that IT support is lacking in helping them manage their devices and IT environments. Across Asia, over 63 percent of employees claimed they were taking a 'DIY approach' when getting the IT support they need.[iii]

While organisations are beginning to understand the benefits of enterprise mobility to encourage innovation, better work-life balance and improved productivity, IT departments also need to apply the right strategic focus and dedicate their efforts towards the user, rather than a costly and time-consuming device-centric approach. Instead of managing the devices, IT departments will do well to remember that the objective of BYOD is connecting people to their data and applications. A user-centric approach to BYOD where organisations focus on managing the users profile instead of devices is the key for organisations to make the best of it.

Improving security and user experience

One of the key concerns of CIOs on the adoption of BYOD is security, as the influx of multiple devices and new technologies opens up a range of security risks and challenges in terms of securing corporate networks and data, mobile device management, and having granular security policies. While IT departments have no control over the permutations and combinations of devices that employees are using, organisations can still ensure security through the adoption of a user-centric BYOD model.

According to a recent study by global IT market research firm, Vanson Bourne, organisations that adopt a more user-centric approach to enterprise mobility are better able to track and support each user's level of mobility while retaining the ability to track and manage users and their data when they change roles or leave the company.

By placing the user at the core of all IT policies, an IT department can regain a flexibility that is lost by siloing user policies against each separate device while ensuring the protection of data across various devices, applications and users. This will become increasingly important, especially as mobile devices and tablets are integrated with cloud-based virtualised platforms. More has to be done to ensure that the right user has access to the data and applications that are relevant to them, while fending off access to confidential data from unauthorised users within the organisation.


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