BYOD in the Enterprise

On 1 March 2013 by Pete Petersen
Tablets in the Enterprise

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In several previous articles (Thin Clients Options for your VDI ImplementationPersonal Cloud vs BYODBYOD Fears Thwarted By Smart PoliciesLike It Or Not, BYOD Is Upon UsPutting BYOD Users FirstEmbracing BYOD, and BYOD Security . VDI Can Help, some excellent reference articles and whitepapers can be found on the subject.

Found a new one today. In the paper, “Tablets and Smartphones in the Enterprise,” Managing editor Phil Sweeney points out that there are tools that can help minimize BYOD’s risks, and [provide] guidance on formalizing use policies. Contributor Dan Sullivan includes many of these in the paper.

Within your study, please keep in mine that with a comprehensive BYOD strategy, be careful to not get roped into a single vendor or platform (eg: ActiveSync or Apple’s Configurator). Supporting one vendor’s offering sort of negates the whole idea of BYOD. Also keep in mind that Mobile Device Management (MDM) software provides a great way to manage devices–or pieces of devices–so that users can enjoy BYOD and organizations can also have a workable level of supportability and control.

In addition, Consider putting the WiFi network outside the firewall and offering corporate-owned assets through a virtual desktop infrastruction implementation. Untrusted things on the outside, and trusted/managed things on the inside.

So consider this as quoted in Wired’s Innovation Highlights article, “It’s Time to Tame the Tablet for Enterprise Mobility“:

The result: a tablet left on a coffee table with an open enterprise connection is a bad situation for corporate data security. Family members aren’t data thieves, but content might accidentally get erased, data might get saved to a tablet unintentionally, or otherwise compromised.

All the more reason to keep important things inside the network on trusted devices. To be comprehensive, taking data offline is a consideration, but not the primary use case in most organizations. More of an edge case is more and more situations where Internet accessibility is increasingly mobile, and with many mobile devices including their own connection from a cellular vendor, this is largely a non-issue. How much productive time does a user spend on an airplane anyway? Not as much as we like to imagine.

Also in Wired’s write-up, Forrester claims that “tablet sales are expected to rise from the 56 million units sold in 2011 to 375 million in 2016, with 750 million tablets in use by then.” Forrester also “expects that one-third of these tablets will be purchased by businesses.” This is important for any organization to realize.

It’s a unique time. Time for Embracing BYOD.