The rate at which technologies are evolving is so rapid that the current technology is becoming 'a thing of the past' within a few months of its introduction in the market. Such a quick trend shift happens a lot, especially in the area of mobile devices. Yet technology advancements continue to drive economic growth in changing the way we work and live.
The technological innovations in mobile devices are creating new opportunities for users and challenges for enterprises. Imagine how when supercomputers were first introduced to perform computational tasks, the machines occupied a vast amount of space. Today, computational power has been transformed into a smart phone that fits in a palm, which performs the most powerful tasks that a man could imagine!
These technology evolutions have been consistent in the past and they will continue in the future. The introduction of devices such as iPhones and iPads have caused a disruption in the market by entirely changing the way we work and thus gave rise to "bring you own device" (BYOD).
This BYOD has created challenges within enterprises in handling the growing personal devices and it continues to be a challenge.
As the future unwinds, we are in a better position to understand and be prepared, for some of the challenges the new technological advancements might throw at us. The much hyped-about Google Glass, which is set to launch in 2014; the recently launched Smartwatches and many more technological innovations to arrive might create further disruptions that lead to "BYOD 2.0”.
So what does BYOD 2.0 mean to the enterprises? Gartner has identified Mobile Device Diversity and Management as one among Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014. This is a precaution given by the analyst calling enterprises to actively embrace the change. At present, companies are handling a wide array of devices such as smart phones & tablets. Adding to it, the wearable gadgets will further increase challenges for IT teams to handle a diversity of devices.
With the advent of new devices in the market every year, security concerns remain paramount for enterprises. Factors such as device hacking, virus threats and mismanagement of devices will continue to act as a conduit for data leakage. On the other hand, IT teams cannot avoid the plethora of devices inside the company because employees who have embraced smartphones in the past will continue to embrace the next wave of innovations and expect their employers to allow the new devices to be used for work.
So what’s the action plan?
Though there are dynamic developments across mobile device ecosystem, the principles remain the same. Hence it becomes imperative for IT teams to create strong policies, define device limitations, create awareness, and modify policies with small tweaks to accommodate the next-generation devices. There are a few actions that IT team can do to reduce current and future BYOD 2.0 risks that includes:
When it comes to embracing the new technological innovations, it's better to set expectations based on employee roles and IT requirements for the device usage. This gives the organisations better agility in streamlining the right set of users, secure the data and ensure an effective productivity at work.
Policies are essential for companies to define the rights and responsibilities of the IT team and the employees, in safe guarding the interest of the organisation and the employees. To create an effective legal policy, the legal team must ensure that the policies comply with local laws in providing right degree of employee’s privacy levels, and ensure that policies are executable.
The IT team has to conduct periodic educational sessions on the importance of BYOD, and its advantages to the employees. It is important to establish a mutual understanding between the end-user and the IT team. The IT team must educate employees about the procedure involved in BYOD lifecycle, from self-enrollment to device retirement.
Right mobility management software
One-size-fits-all is definitely not an option for managing mobile devices because every enterprise has various needs, which varies accordingly. In general, MDM vendors provide basic mobile device management (MDM) features, while a few offer-advanced features that certain enterprise might not require. Some customers might look for only basic MDM capabilities, while others might seek Enterprise Mobility Management or an Integrated Desktop and Mobile Device Management functionality -- whatever is needed to meet the requisite MDM demands and to secure the data.
Before making your MDM software decision, you might consider the following points:
· Create a checklist that matches the features with your MDM needs
· Create a checklist of MDM vendors who are market-ready with the support for latest products/platforms
· Evaluate MDM vendors in terms of market presence and expertise
BYOD and BYOD 2.0 have their share of risks, but it is even more risky to ignore the opportunities that the BYOD trends present. However, IT teams would do well to learn from Apple's first iPhone release: Be Proactive! IT teams must become early adopters of these upcoming innovations, and be updated with the possible risks in future, and ensure that the organisation data stays secure.
Vijay Saradhi, Senior Product Consultant, ManageEngine