We first started hearing the term bring your own device (BYOD) about two years ago and since then it has continued its rapid growth in popularity as employees demand anytime, anywhere connectivity from any device.
Today, with the increase in flexible working and collaborative workspaces, people expect the same standards of reliability and usability on their personal devices, as they experience at work. Introducing BYOD within the workplace continues to be a topic of significant interest, particularly around the simplification of IT provisioning inside organisations. Many companies are still at the early stage of their journey to embrace BYOD and mobility solutions. Outlined below are some key areas to consider.
One of the biggest challenges for BYOD is ensuring a consistent user experience regardless of device. This is fine if you plan to manage the fleet of devices employees bring into the organisation, however if you want a more open approach then you need a strong governance model in place to ensure consistency.
Most companies accept the need for BYOD but one of the challenges for IT is ensuring the right network support is in place to make it happen. Most employees are not IT savvy enough to set up their personal device to run work based applications without help. If no help is available to support personal devices coming into your network then chances are that your BYOD plans will be challenging. It’s important to think about the additional systems support needed to ensure your BYOD policy succeeds.
Delivering a simple user experience to your workforce is the result of creating a consistent methodology around identity management and security. For example, I use the same login on my network, my phone and my tablet, which makes it simple for me regardless of how I choose to join my company network.
If you need external support, many resellers offer a one day assessment service to help you identify your maturity ranking and the level of security and identity management support you will need as part of a wider BYOD strategy.
BYOD is as much about cultural change as it is about technology - the extent to which people are trusted with devices and have access to data outside the network. It’s important to have a clear understanding of where your concerns are regarding security at the outset in order to find the right balance for your organisation. BYOD needs strong policy guidelines around accessing and storing sensitive data.
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Identify users: Learn who or which functions within your organisation will benefit most e.g. finance, human resources, C-Suite or administration.
Determine use cases: Find out who employees need to communicate with, from where, and how often, to establish the basic use cases for your workforce.
Assess mobile device suitability: For instance, for a teleworker, desktop solutions such as a video-enabled phone or laptop might be the most suitable, whereas for a salesperson who is constantly on the move, a smartphone or tablet may be a better option.
Understand network requirements: Determine how employees connect to a network to establish firewall traversal solutions.
Gary Denman took over as MD of Polycom A/NZ in April 2012. In this role, Gary is responsible for developing the long-term business growth and market strategy for the ANZ region.