The right policies help hold down costs and protect company interests.
Of all the buzz words or phrases in business and industry, one of the most talked-about in the technology and business world in 2012 is BYOD: Bring Your Own Device.
Simply put, BYOD entails any personal device an employee uses to connect with the organization’s network: laptops, smartphones, tablet technology, etc. Smartphones and tablets have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. According to Gartner Research, there were 472 million smartphones sold in 2011 (up 58 percent from 2010) and tablets will out-sell desktop computers by 2013, according to Forrester Research.
Allowing employees to bring their own wireless device into the workplace to increase their productivity and decrease corporate cost is very appealing. Employees can handle business-related phone calls and e-mail at any time, which can increase productivity or their transactions per day. Since the employee paid for the device and the monthly charge, there is a decrease in corporate costs.
The biggest cost to the organization will be the lack of policy, both procedural and security. Business leaders have two options: allow and develop a BYOD strategy—or don’t. However, these devices are here to stay; if you don’t develop a plan with your business’ most important asset—your data—you’re taking a huge risk.
Security is a major concern and key factor when deploying a BYOD strategy. An organizations’ data and intellectual property may be its lifesblood. A poorly executed BYOD strategy can leave it extremely vulnerable. Organizations are rightly concerned about the security of the data, viruses, performance and monitoring usage to contain costs. There is a way to deploy a BYOD strategy, however, to ensure the integrity of a corporations’ network and data.
It is estimated that 80 percent of enterprises lack a Mobile Device Management system, which protects corporate assets on an employee-owned device. With a solid MDM system, an organization can monitor and control the applications that users are running, and prevent users from running over on minutes or using applications that are “black-listed” on the corporate network. The same policies that are deployed for the devices that are physically connected to the network can be enforced for those who have wireless connections. Passwords are protected, applications (such as Angry Birds) can be prohibited, device software can be kept up to date and a device can immediately be wiped clean if it is lost or stolen.
There are two alternatives to a BYOD strategy. One option: employer-provided devices. An employer-provided device is the safest and most secure manner to deploy a wireless strategy for laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. This allows an organization to get the benefits of the devices (mobility, increased productivity without an increase in cost) but make them just as secure as a computer physically plugged into the corporate network. The same corporate policy for passwords, anti-virus, etc. can be enforced with a good MDM system. These devices will follow the same corporate policies and standards that traditional desktop PCs do.
The second option is a hybrid solution, a company-provided device, or an employee-provided device where the employees are responsible for the monthly charges—BYOD. This way a company gets the productivity benefits for all employees, but only incurs the cost for the employee of their choice (i.e. sales reps, road warriors, executives, etc). This, again, is done with an MDM system. The same MDM system that is deployed for a BYOD strategy can be used for employer-owned/provided device. This option provides the same security and policy enforcement for all, but without the overhead and cost of an employer-owned device. An organization is not forced to pick a strategy; it they can choose one based on its needs today and in the future. The best of both worlds.
The key to developing a BYOD strategy is to find a systems integrator with wireless experience and knowledge, someone you trust. A good integrator will help you develop a common sense approach to BYOD and help you avoid the pitfalls of a poorly executed BYOD strategy.
Don’t be afraid of BYOD—it’s not just a buzz word—it’s here to stay. Embrace it, understand it and learn how to use it to your advantage. You’ll be glad you did.
About Vital Support Systems:
Founded in 1998, Vital Support Systems™ (Vital) is a leading provider of enterprise networking, systems, storage and managed services. Vital combines its expertise in the HP® product set with its knowledge of: VMware®, Cisco, EMC®, Oracle®, Citrix® and Microsoft® products to deliver mission-critical solutions to businesses nationwide. Vital joined TDS Hosted & Managed Services, LLC in June of 2012.
TDS Hosted & Managed Services, LLC (TDS HMS) supports the operations of OneNeck IT Services Corp., Vital Support Systems, and VISI Incorporated. Each of these companies is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems Inc., a Fortune 500® company. TDS HMS is growing rapidly; now employing more than 500 people throughout the U.S. TDS HMS companies specialize in engineering and management of IT infrastructure, including: hosted application management, managed hosting, and ReliaCloud™ enterprise cloud services. TDS HMS also owns and operates Tier III data centers in Iowa, Minn., and Wis. Visit oneneck.com, vitalsite.com, and visi.com for more information.
Telephone and Data Systems [NYSE: TDS] provides wireless, broadband, TV and landline telephone services to approximately 7 million customers in 36 states through TDS Telecommunications Corp. and U.S. Cellular [NYSE: USM], its majority owned wireless subsidiary. Telephone and Data Systems was named one of Forbes' Most Trustworthy Companies in 2012. Founded in 1969, and headquartered in Chicago, the company employs more than 12,300 people. Visit teldta.com for investment information.
|Home | Privacy | Terms of Service | Copyright © 2012 Vital Support Systems
All rights reserved. Questions or comments? Click here to contact us.
Cedar Rapids - 4250 Glass Road NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
Des Moines - 11191 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
Kansas City - 2700 BiState Drive Suite 500, Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Madison - 525 Junction Road, Madison, Wisconsin 53717
Quad Cities - 1910 E Kimberly Road, Davenport, Iowa 52805
Omaha - 3850 South 149th Street, Suite 115, Omaha, Nebraska 68144
Rockford - 1358 Fourth Ave., Rockford, Illinois 61104