BYOD strategies for enterprise CIOs

The unprecedented growth of end consumer devices including smartphones and tablets has created a sense of urgency in the minds of the CIOs to formulate strategies that can help them embrace the growing trend of consumerization of technology in an enterprise context. These devices have unarguably resulted in better connectivity, mobility and flexibility for the end user as well as increased the reach for enterprises. Subsequently, companies are allowing employees to carry their own devices within the work premises and access the enterprise network. However, managing the scale and diversity of devices and data security are still the primary concerns, forcing companies to block and deny the usage of personal devices in enterprise premises and networks.

Today, employees often switch between their personal smart devices and business devices for accessing business information which further accentuates the need for allowing BYOD concept. In fact, a lot of companies have already deployed BYOD solutions to some extent that can enable employees to utilize their personal devices for accessing some of the enterprise resources and applications. Therefore, the challenges that needs immediate attention for taking the concept further is to- first identify the vulnerabilities of the network when it is exposed to an alien device entering the system and find ways of minimizing the abnormalities it can possibly cause. Also, enterprises need to take a close look at their IT policies and systems so that they can reduce the risk of data breaches, data loss and non-compliance.

On the other hand if we analyze the advantages for adopting BYOD, there is enough evidence that it helps keeping a check on IT costs, increase productivity and enables on the move access. Desktop virtualization for instance is based on the fundamentals of consumerization trend and is a major driver which supports the BYOD concept. It enables the enterprises to benefit the most by reassuring- that the device is owned by the individual and the connectivity through any device at any time and any location can be offered in a secured environment monitored in the client server model.

To make the BYOD a reality, enterprises need to carefully evaluate the risks associated and clearly formulate and communicate polices to its employees for strict adherence. In addition, the service desk team should also explicitly highlight the extent of IT, tech support and request fulfillment they are going to offer and chart a crisp BYOD policy in terms of declaring what would be provided and what not.

Given the potential benefits of BYOD, organizations need to channelize their investments and ensure that their IT policies and systems are in place and hence unleash the true potential of BYOD.

Malay Verma, vice president& global head – Cisco BU

Global Media and Telecom Strategic Business Unit, Wipro Technologies
[email protected]