According to Forrester Research, more than half of information workers own the devices that they use for work, a proportion that is only likely to increase. The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend is generally accredited to the smartphone revolution, which opened the floodgates to workers using their new devices in preference to corporate-issued phones or laptops.
Now, BYOD has gained significant momentum in the marketplace appearing on the "top 10" list of many CIOs. Furthermore, it is well-known that this initiative creates a host of new challenges for IT and while device management and support costs are generally well understood, data management and security challenges are not.
According to Pete Chenoweth, Director of Technical Services ASEAN, CommVault Systems, in the past, corporate data management strategies have tended to focus exclusively on the data centre. However, in his view, this should have changed the day that organisations removed dumb terminals from desks in favour of desktops and laptops. This change resulted in a paradigm shift towards content creation applications, massively increased volumes of corporate data creation, and the associated access and retention becoming a significant challenge for IT. While Chenoweth acknowledges that this is a 20-year challenge, it is clear that it is being exponentially accelerated by BYOD initiatives.
Here he provides some important 'dos and don'ts' for concerned CIOs and IT departments that want to deliver effective and efficient data management beyond the data centre, in a constantly evolving, more mobile environment.
1. Don't spend for the sake of it
Forward-thinking CIOs need to embrace the fact that BYOD is here to stay, meaning that the primary concern must now be ensuring management of data that has a lifecycle outside of the corporate data centre. Management of this data does not have to be a complicated and expensive process. Instead, new software capabilities are empowering workers to easily and securely protect, share, search and access files across mobile, desktop and laptop devices, without the need for IT's involvement.
Clearly it is incumbent on IT to support this marketplace evolution with the prime responsibility of ensuring that consideration is given to cost-efficient, agile and scalable BYOD solutions. CommVault's Simpana solution, for example, enables our customers to very simply add BYOD data management to existing deployments without the requirement for IT to implement entirely new and parallel data management infrastructure, thus maximising existing technology investments.
2. Don't neglect regulatory obligations
A common mistake that IT departments make is neglecting to ensure that BYOD data is managed in line with the enterprise's regulatory requirements. However, the increasing popularity of consumer grade cloud file services combined with legal pressures on eDiscovery and compliance elements is now forcing enterprises to rapidly rethink how they access and protect information.
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