The mobile revolution has transformed the ways in which individuals interact within and beyond their organisation, getting more done faster for competitive & operational advantage.
Bring your own device (BYOD) policies have proven they can enhance the quality of business outcomes by improving flexibility and real-time communications.
BYOD also has the potential to reduce business costs and the time involved in provisioning, configuring, connecting and supporting end users.
“Surviving in a world of continuously evolving mobile devices, fragmented mobile operating systems, and uncontrollable apps with all their accompanying security threats, can pose a real challenge for CIOs and their teams," says Denise Carson, Practice Manager, Enterprise Mobility & Operational Intelligence, UXC Connect.
Telsyte’s Australian Enterprise Mobility Market Study 2014 research found BYOD adoption has reached a critical tipping point, with around two-thirds of Australian and New Zealand enterprises now allowing staff to use personal devices for work.
"With Australia among the world’s fastest smartphone and tablet adopters, the momentum to allow personal devices to access network systems will only increase as employees deliver better, more effective services via mobility," Carson adds.
Three main BYOD challenges for management and operational ICT teams.
1. Choice of model
BYOD can result in an increased need for IT resources and support, increased costs, difficulty maintaining network performance and security, and device and application management challenges.
To mitigate these issues, organisations should consider choosing a consistent mobility model.
Examples include choose your own device (CYOD), where a very limited number of approved devices and platforms are permitted, or corporate-owned personally-enabled (COPE) device.
COPE provides the user with more flexibility, but the organisation retains control over usage and support costs, security and other areas of potential risk.
2. BYOD security
BYOD may be a matter of flexibility and convenience for the user, but it is a significant source of risk for the organisation.
This is particularly critical for the sectors where the need to protect data privacy and security is paramount.
To successfully use BYOD, including an increasing range of wearables, organisations need to develop networks that control information access and provide support on the back end.
Corporate apps also need to be thoroughly tested for security issues before being deployed. Having a well-considered and well-communicated mobility policy is critical to a secure mobile environment that protects employees, customers and the organisation’s intellectual property and data.
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Without a robust enterprise mobility management strategy, risky employee behaviour, whether accidental or deliberate, is inevitable.
3. Management challenges
Many ICT teams struggle with the management of tablets, smartphones and, increasingly, wearables due to the sheer variety features and the velocity of change as devices evolve.
Organisations can reduce the effort involved in managing end devices by placing certain parameters around BYOD, CYOD or COPE models.
Deploying enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions also becomes essential alongside identity and access management software, preferably with these two components tightly integrated.
“Every organisation should create a mobility strategy, roadmap and management plan with clear rules for the use of mobile devices," Carson adds.
"It was once obvious who owned, managed and secured devices, but in a BYOD work environment there are likely grey areas.
“An enterprise mobility management plan that fully aligns with overall corporate management guidelines is the best way to ensure there is no confusion.
"Ideally, the mobility management plan will be developed before allowing access to information assets via personal devices.
"But, if the rush to mobility has already overtaken good intentions, then it’s never too late to build a plan and implement it."