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CIO Views

BYOD (bring your own device ) in IT Sector

Today, workforce required access to information on multiple computing devices, on a desktop at Home, on a Laptop while roaming & on their mobile even when they may be attending a private function. Organizations on the other hand are happy to provide information access 24X7. Well verse with computing, modern workforce likes to adopt their own choice of device & also likes to remain connected.

"BYOD" helps to fulfill both users expectations mentioned above, while benefiting organizations & IT department to lower CAPEX & OPEX.

"BYOD" does benefits to Users, IT and Organization. A user in no way now feels being pushed to accept hardware or software he dislikes, BYOD also lowers their IT dependency.

IT team on the other hand, can focus on strategic innovations instead of fixing IT issues. Organizations, with BYOD implemented, surely see a reduction in IT CAPEX. Operation, licensing & support cost too are lowering down.

Today, organizations are looking to reduce complexity and cost of managing mobility. BYOD as a concept definitely helps to reduce IT cost. As workforces own the device, a motherly care indeed is expected which leads to careful handling and reducing support cost further.

BYOD brings up all typical concerns eventually, same as to company owned devices. DATA security, Virus & Spam Protection, Gateway security, access privilege & so on. BYOD many times taken as BYOT – 'Bring your own Technology' and then if allowed, it's an additional concern.
However, major concern is, if BYOD is left unmanaged, this practice can potentially result in a data breach.

For example: Imagine a lost smartphone that was used to access the company network. The confidential data stored on the phone could potentially be retrieved by untrusted parties.

On the other hand an employee may bring a device with an OS not so familiar to internal IT, say Linux. If all other employees and IT personnel are using a Microsoft operating system, where does the user can go for support at the end of the day?

Compatibility of hardware of the device with organization's software and applications should not be overlooked when considering BYOD.

BYOD definitely inspires users as Device is chosen by them. However, mapping overall computing need for their job profile requirements & the device functionality is many times ignored. It is amusing to notice how frequently users change devices when BYOD is allowed. Affordability many times takes a back seat & craving for new, takes the lead.

However I am not too optimistic on users' willingness to pay for personal choices mainly when it is a LAPTOP or TABLET. What so ever may be the case, IT should be ready with open-hands for the concept of BYOD.

Modern workforce likes to remain updated with Technology although it has a high cost tag attached to it. Everyone today desires to remain connected with peers & socially. BYOD also gives new employees a sense of continuity & hence they can focus on core profile rather than learning new things on a new device. It helps to shorten the induction lead time.

Access privileges on company data source & also on BYOD devices needs a well thought security policy before implementation having rules of engagement. I will consider it as a PRE-nuptial agreement between company and User.

A mandate is needed from user to use certain security tools & measures as a condition to allow BYOD. Additionally one should clearly understand BYOD is for KNOWN users & not for unknown DEVILS.

Laying down minimum security requirement within BYOD is must and one cannot go ahead with BYOD without securing access privileges. However having said this, supporting user driven technology is not that too hard.

BYOD isn't all wine and roses. There are some issues to consider as well. By embracing BYOD, organizations lose much of the control over the IT hardware and how it is used.

NO, devices under BYOD always remain clients for enterprise technology & mainly consumers not creators. Again BYOD is NOT for guest users. Enterprise should acknowledge the Device & User to provide access to its enterprise data.

BYOD is already implemented for mobile devices at BIOSTADT. Users are using their own mobile handsets to access mails and browser based applications.

The proliferation of personal electronic devices in the workplace raises some immediate and urgent issues around corporate policy, infrastructure, and applications. While immediate action is essential, the best approach to BYOD may lie in the context of long-term strategy, one that turns the challenge into an opportunity to optimize the enterprise's operational environment.

Yet, No CXO wants to be in front of the board, explaining how their critical data got exposed.

CIO should create a comfort zone for Users & IT to adopt BYOD within the organization, defining all "W" questions correctly may be again & again. Note the "H" or 'HOW' (modality of use) is not under control any more.

Defining access privilege combining the User credentials and Device Identity for every data source & limiting the DATA residing on BYOD device could be key questions CIO should answer before adopting BYOD policy.

At BIOSTADT, we have already adopted BYOD for mobile devices. However, we may not adopt BYOT (Bring your own technology) as User has to access corporate resources with the APPs we are developing.

We clearly understood, our IT cannot control BYOD devices the way we control company owned devices. So simple approach we adopted is YDOP - "Your Device, Our APP"

Proprietary web portal & APPs broker the access by User credentials and Device Identity. It also takes care of encryption and data residing on such devices. We can manage dozen APPs rather than thousand devices. This is manageable and far less costly than engaging in the tail chase of trying to secure a host of devices over which we truly have little purview.

BYOD will surely win. The economics are compelling. It makes no sense not to leverage the investment that most employees will make in the devices for improving their efficiency at work.

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