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Guest View: Data Management in the BYOD era

Peter Chenoweth | Sept. 12, 2013
Some important ‘dos and don’ts’ for CIOs and IT departments that want to deliver effective and efficient data management beyond the data centre.

As the BYOD phenomena expands, so too does the threat of inadequate data protection and security, as many organisations have little control over how employees are mixing and matching work devices and data with their other day-to-day activities. Sensitive files travel outside of the office, often without encryption or other simple security measures, leaving data exposed to theft, loss or corruption. For industries under strict regulatory compliance, for example, healthcare and finance, data protection legislation is a primary concern.

3.      Do adapt data management to mobile workforces

BYOD habits are generally driven by convenience and the most effective and efficient ways to work, whether that means using a tablet at home, a smartphone in a meeting or a laptop in the office. When employees use personal, mobile devices for work, unless they are directly involved with compliance or IT teams, security issues are rarely a factor in their decisions.

Organisations should support remote working and adapt existing enterprise data management solutions to include and integrate mobile devices. With the latest developments, there is no reason that existing data storage and protection architecture cannot be enhanced to include file synchronisation between PCs and native file search through a Windows plug-in that allows organisations to retain control over their data and information, whilst empowering authorised employees to securely share files amongst their own devices.

This mitigates the risks associated with remote data protection, access and management, while at the same time boosting productivity by making information readily available, portable and secure through personal data clouds. 

4.      Don't forget that access to data works both ways

IT departments tend to focus on protecting data from unauthorised access; however, managing and providing secure access to data that employees create on their own devices is also important.

Mobile workforces must be provided with secure, self-service access to corporate data from anywhere. To promote efficiency, data must remain easily accessible to authorised individuals. CommVault Simpana provides unique self-service access to a secure, personal 'content store', offering global access to distributed files and documents, without the need to resort to consumer-grade file-sharing and cloud back-up services, which are outside of IT departments' control. 

5.      Do address compatibility questions from the outset

Modern multi-vendor, multi-point solutions often lead to major compatibility issues, which can be further exacerbated once individual mobile and laptop devices are brought into the mix. Organisations can save  time, resources and costs, while increasing collaboration across operational silos, by intelligently searching and gaining insight into information assets across the entire enterprise.

Today's data management software should provide easy operational access across the full range of applications, file systems and network-attached storage platforms required by the business. A unified browser console can eliminate much of this complexity through a consistent data management strategy framework, and can then set policies and automate procedures for carrying data through replication, protection and archive stages, according to stipulated definitions.


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