BYOD for the CIO: Maximize Productivity While Maintaining Security

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What's Next for BYOD?

BYOD is a decade old now and has gone from being an overhyped phenomenon to becoming a mature and widely accepted solution.

There is a developing trend for organizations to move toward "zero-trust" of networks, devices and end users. This trend is being helped by new, fine-grained and distributed security technologies that take security close to the data and the applications and effectively replace the old approach of trusted security zones.

MDM software will continue to advance and mature to allow for a very fine-grained implementation of the corporate BYOD policy. It will effectively "partition" phones in such a way that end users will have the freedom to do what they want without compromising corporate controls and data. An adjacent trend is cloud-identity systems, which allow an organization to give just one trusted identity to an employee for all their systems, devices, applications and networks.

A CIO will ultimately combine these advanced identity systems with the latest MDM and security solutions. BYOD solutions will work better and productivity should increase, as should end-user satisfaction. But privacy and legal challenges will persist.

The lives of today's workers are not always divided into neat and separate office and home compartments. Many work at home, sometimes on weekends, and often for longer hours, making them more productive than when in the traditional, office-based nine-to-five role. Nowhere is the blur between home and office more evident than in the social and mobile space, where employees mix work and play in their Twitter streams and use the same phone and laptop for Facebook, Netflix and accessing the corporate CRM system.

Over the last decade, employees have begun bringing better personal IT equipment into the office than they have at work, and want to use it for both personal and work activities. Carrying two phones is a hassle, and some might prefer a tablet or an Apple MacBook over their corporate laptop. This powerful and irreversible employee productivity trend is called "the consumerization of IT" and savvy companies are responding with new enterprise mobility programs, of which bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes may be a part.

Today's CIO has a lot to do to make BYOD work, starting with a well-designed and communicated policy covering employee privacy rights and a company's right to monitor, access, review, and disclose company data. The CIO must balance the convenience of BYOD and the improved employee productivity with the realities of employee privacy, corporate security, and the use of mobile device management (MDM) software. There are BYOD minefields that must be negotiated by working closely with HR, finance, legal, and business units, as well as dealing with a wide range of impatient and tech-savvy employees who will say (or perhaps shout) "Why doesn't IT get it? How hard can it be? I just want to do my work."

In this slideshow, Sarah Lahav, CEO of SysAid Technologies, takes a closer look at BYOD and offers advice to help CIOs maximize workplace productivity while maintaining corporate security.

 

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