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Roundtable: Overcoming the Mobile Disruption

T.C. Seow | July 18, 2012
CIOs from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan exchange ideas on how best to face the challenges brought about by mobility.

"The challenge," Raja said, "is not so much in provisioning but how to control the use [of the iPhones] when they're not working -- are they using the devices for playing games, accessing their Facebook account or watching YouTube for example -- to maintain productivity." At any point when inappropriate information access occurs, top management would be alerted of that incident so that quick actions may be taken to prevent security breach.

He revealed that China Trust is in the process of implementing iPads for use by the marketing department to take orders. "We embrace technology to a high degree and at the same time, security is a high concern," he said.

On the question how CIOs should manage the new generation of staff members who prefer using their own devices at work, Alex Wei from MFlex remarked that whether one was given a company-issued smartphone or otherwise would depend on the actual job function of the person. "Huawei actually provide smartphones for customer-facing staff who require such devices to fulfil their work commitment," he said. "We see the need to collaborate with vendors and smartphones will help us in that sense."

Zhu from SunTech described a more stringent way to control use of mobile devices in his organisation where managerial staff must obtain approval from management for using their own devices, provided there were proper procedures for user registration and authorisation. He added: "The company have 'security officers' to monitor what type of information is downloaded and accessed by the staff who use personal devices. If there is a breach, the security officers will be alerted and the incident reported immediately to management team, and appropriate actions will be taken to wipe out the information downloaded into their own devices."

In the end, there was no silver bullet that could be used to win the BYOD disruption. But one thing is certain: CIOs must be prepared to change and adapt to meet their users' aspirations. That means taking bold steps to lead.

Cloud Capabilities
While the participants at the roundtable focused more on mobility issues, the discussion also touched upon cloud services which, for most of the CIOs, deploying such solutions would still take some time to mature.

Thomas Chen from Corel.

Chen of Corel also commented government regulation was a big issue for the financial sector. "In Taiwan, we are not expected to host [any data] outside [the country]. Going to the cloud would mean we have no idea where the data is stored," he said.

Lim from SingTel pointed out that cloud platforms range from the very public to very private types. Still, vendors could enforce a certain level of security. He explained: "Cloud services provided by SingTel can be dedicated in the sense that the servers can be provided to you, including memory, and storage. You know where your data is stored, yet you have the flexibility that cloud offers, and it's secured."




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