Taking on the BYOD Influx

In the post PC era, anyone who works in an office expects the freedom to work and collaborate with their own mobile devices. Work is no longer a place but any activity, so workers expect anytime, anywhere access to their workplace using the device and the applications they know and trust. Wherever people go, they expect their workplace to go with them.

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Is a weak BYOD strategy better than none at all?

Mike JohnsonGuest author: Mike Johnson, ‎Director UC Architectures & Solutions

Before hastily implementing a BYOD policy, companies need to assess the full scope of risks that come with using mobile devices for work, says a new report from a leading cybersecurity organization.

According to the Information Security Forum, businesses that push BYOD too quickly often neglect or ignore risk management, which can have disastrous consequences. However, current estimates show that somewhere between 60-80% of organizations don’t have BYOD policies in place today–so what should these organizations do?



The first option is to hold off on BYOD. But is this really an option? Organizations that follow this path would soon realize they are hampering their workforce productivity, so another option would be to simply allow for e-mail delivery through Active-Sync and to require a PIN and email wipe, at the bare minimum. Companies can then take their time to thoroughly assess the risks involved in a more robust BYOD policy, develop a comprehensive policy and make an informed decision about how best to track and possibly restrict company information on personal devices. This approach ensures that when the BYOD strategy is put in place, it most likely has accounted for all major risk factors.

The final alternative is to quickly create a BYOD policy and start tracking devices using more robust features, but still keeping it simple. This line of thinking sees that employees are already using mobile devices for work, so the IT department that currently operates without a BYOD plan needs to get one in place as soon as possible, even if it initially ignores a few security holes.

Perhaps we can have it both ways? Should organizations adopt BYOD quickly and then phase in more robust features/functions and security? Or is this hype, and effective BYOD strategies simply require time to develop?

Hype or Ripe
Is it better to have an incomplete BYOD policy than none at all?

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BYOD can add up to 32 hours per employee every month

BYOD use among enterprise employees appears to be growing, according to a recent Gartner survey, but some organizations still have yet to jump on board the mobile computing bandwagon.

Tatsianama /

Tatsianama /

Some telling stats from the survey:

  • If run at its optimal capacity, a BYOD program could add up to 32 work hours per month, per employee. That’s nearly a week’s worth of productivity added every month.
  • The majority of BYOD users (74%) say their employers allow BYOD and actively manage it. However, 7% of respondents said their employers had not acted on BYOD, and 19% said their organizations had not communicated a BYOD strategy to them.
  • 26% of those surveyed said their employers required use of their personal devices for work purposes, and 33% said they were allowed to use their own devices for work, but were not required to do so.
  • Just 15% of respondents said their company allows BYOD and enforces a signed mobile device policy.
  • Among all respondents, nearly half use their personal mobile device for work productivity. 43% use it for social communication, 35% to access enterprise data, and 20% use their mobile device to access back-end systems behind a firewall via VPN.

Past research has found that most IT leaders have a favorable view of BYOD, and see greater reliance on BYOD as an unavoidable part of the future workplace. Learn more about how BYOD can help you maximize productivity in your organization.

How to COPE with BYOD in 2014

Tech experts predict BYOD will take a new turn in 2014, and it might be the answer for companies hesitant to adopt the practice. Company owned, personally enabled (COPE) devices are a hybrid of sorts; COPE takes an approach that incorporates the benefits of BYOD and traditional company-owned devices.

The pros of COPE

With 60% of IT and security specialists displeased with BYOD, COPE might be the middle ground that many companies need. As BYOD gains popularity, some IT departments are becoming increasingly nervous about the security of their data. Some companies are finding that COPE gives employees the same access to reliable devices that they would have with BYOD, but can provide reassurance to employers with security concerns.

As with BYOD, employees have the ability to use one device for both professional and personal purposes (within reason), but COPE allows the employer to regain control. Because the company owns the device, if an employee leaves the company, there is no fear of restricted data on his or her device being compromised.

Shutterstock/Slavoljub Pantelic 1

Shutterstock/Slavoljub Pantelic 1

The cons of COPE

Because COPE devices are company owned, there is an added monetary cost, particularly if the company has been using a BYOD model.

Perhaps the biggest downside of COPE is the resulting blurred lines surrounding employee privacy. Because the devices are granted with the understanding that they can be used personally, companies may end up with access to employees’ personal email, social media accounts, online banking information and more.

Hype or Ripe
Will COPE replace BYOD in 2014?

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Top 10 IT trends to watch for in 2014



What’s going to make news in IT this year? We asked our customers and scanned our social media from the last few months to create a list of what we think will be the top 10 trends people talk about in 2014. Take a look at our list and see if you agree.

  1. More confusion over tech decisions. When an organization needs to make a choice on cloud, mobile devices or other tech, who has the final call? The CIO’s traditional role as a tech gatekeeper is quickly being reduced by the CMO and other executives who feel the need to make decisions more independently. This growing trend will only continue to evolve throughout 2014.
  2. Big data gets bigger. Analyzing vast quantities of data for business insights is now an established practice, and we foresee it only becoming more prominent this year. Advanced solutions like SAP HANA are making this process more of an everyday task instead of a one-time project, and enterprise organizations will start to take advantage soon.
  3. Healthcare IT (HIT). Like big data, this segment of IT is poised for explosive growth. Affordable Care and meaningful use are here to stay for the near future, meaning their respective tech requirements will also be in high demand. In addition, telemedicine, e-prescribing, and healthcare analytics will all grow in importance as healthcare CIOs search for ways to engage patients, providers and payers in more efficient communications that result in better outcomes.
  4. The Internet of Things. We can already control our thermostats and TVs remotely from a mobile device; 2014 is the year when this explodes to numerous other uses. Everything conceivable – from appliances to light bulbs – will be Internet-ready, and consumers will control their lives via mobile devices. This means BYOD will become significantly more important and more complex as anything and everything becomes a “device” for Internet connectivity.
  5. As-A-Service.  With belt-tightening measures firmly in place, enterprise organizations that want to remain at the forefront of technology face a tremendous dilemma which can be summed up in a simple question: “Cap-ex or op-ex?”  In the coming year, infrastructure restrictions will be less of a barrier to business growth as the enterprise C-suite embraces the “as-a-service” concept and understands that it’s not the technology itself that transforms the business; it’s the way the business accesses and uses that technology that is transformative.
  6. IaaS: As the “as-a-service” movement takes root, the infrastructure-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service market will grow tremendously as well, particularly among software developers who want to speed application development, QA and solution deployment.
  7. Trust, Security and Privacy.  In order to enjoy more personalized experiences with technology, consumers will become more willing to provide and share identifying information.  As a result, security will become a more significant focus for technology developers.  Cloud-based applications and physical devices will take important steps in the coming year to protect consumers’ identities and safeguard their personal information, lending a helping hand to technology professionals who already have their hands full working on internal security policies and disaster recovery/business continuity strategies.
  8. Mobility on the Move.  As mobile applications replace traditional websites and software products, the combination of mobile and cloud will grow in significance.  Mobile devices will become even more powerful and will be able to handle increasingly complex applications. The proliferation of the cloud allows for collaboration, personalization and mobile access to a large amount of data and a wide variety of products.
  9. Advanced Infrastructure.  Tech departments will trend toward the advanced products like 3D printing that can be used in a variety of applications and industries and hold the potential to change the way things are produced or manufactured.  This means a renewed focus on how these new technologies will be managed and supported, something already weighing heavily on the minds of enterprise IT professionals.
  10. Hybrids.  No surprises here: Hybrid clouds will emerge as the winners in private vs. public cloud debates.

Do you agree with this list? What other topics would you add that will be big in 2014?

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