For years, IT has controlled user devices. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, that has changed. Users now bring in their own devices, often without IT's knowledge. They use them for both personal and work-related tasks. IT's initial plan was to attempt to maintain control. The facts are clear: Controlling user-owned devices in an organization's network is nearly impossible.
When a user brings their own device, they will also bring their own applications that they have grown used to using. That is a plus for productivity and a challenge for IT security. IT managers and CIOs will need to decide what to secure: the network infrastructure or the organization's data.
Controlling users' mobile devices is a losing battle. IT staff, even with automation, can't possibly monitor every device that links to the network. The solution moves to controlling data access. First, secure the data on servers. Then provide users access to that data in the form of mobile Web apps. This lets them access the data on any server they are authorized to access, but doesn't store any data on the mobile device.
According to Paul Simoneau, a senior instructor and course director with Global Knowledge, the coming year will have 12 main challenges for IT management and staff. Since each organization is unique in how it functions and where it places its priorities, these are offered in no particular order. The issues include new technology, cloud, Big Data, virtualization, BYOD and BYOA, shadow IT, boomers, energy efficiency, user systems, interoperability, creating value, and social networks. After a brief comment on each area, more suggestions for dealing with that situation follow.