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BYOD for the Global Enterprise

By Mason White 12:52 PM January 9, 2014
 

By: David Ross
BYOD is taking on a decidedly global flavor. People like their smartphones and computers at the office and at home, and that’s a preference that doesn’t stop at U.S. borders.

The business world would be hard pressed, too, to get along without it. Employers are finding it cost-effective and business friendly to allow workers to use their own smartphones, tablets and other devices in the office. Not only are employees already familiar with these devices, but it allows them to more easily combine their work and personal lives.

The BYOD phenomenon, again, isn’t limited to the U.S. In a study encompassing eight countries in three regions, CISCO Internet Business Solutions Group has discovered that 89 percent of IT departments in enterprises and mid-sized companies enable BYOD in some manner. Company benefits including employee satisfaction, increased productivity and lower costs.

Although the U.S. and India are overall leaders in the adoption of BYOD, with 70 percent using mobile devices, Latin American and Asian countries are encouraging the wide use of BYOD, the Cisco IBSG report states. On the other hand, Europe tends to be more cautious. It also found that IT leaders expect the number of devices to increase from 2.3 percent per worker in 2012 to 2.8 in 2014. The solutions group attributes the growing number of devices to BYOD, with 42 percent of smartphones and 38 percent of laptops used in the workplace owned by employees.

A Smart and Secure Solution

As wide-growing as it is, the trend of BYOD brings up the issue of security. What if an outside party, such as a business competitor, gets a hold of sensitive inside information? What if a smartphone with business data is lost in a public area?

BlackBerry offers solutions to this issue. BlackBerry Balance technology provides a user-friendly method to help companies and employees use their devices without compromising each other. The technology is built into BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

A BlackBerry Balance user can switch from Personal Space to Work Space with a simple gesture. The Work Space is encrypted, secured and managed. It also keeps critical company data and apps protected. In addition, the employees benefit because they still can harness their desired mobile experiences.

In the study, Cisco IBSG lists a few ways security can be heightened. They include:

Devising a single policy platform
Securing and delivering the proper level of access to a corporate network
Creating device protection
Securing data transmission

BYOD is Hard to Ignore

About 60 percent of organizations don’t have a BYOD policy or are just beginning to establish one, according to a study from Acronis and the Ponemon Institute.

Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer for Aruba Networks, told CSOonline.com that IT organizations and enterprises are playing catch-up in the BYOD trend.

Gibson also told the security and risk management online publisher that attitudes regarding a global approach might be affecting a company’s launch into BYOD full bore because some countries have strict cultural policies about bringing personal devices to work. However, he stressed it will be harder for any business in the world to ignore BYOD because the consumerization of the IT trend will become prevalent.

As long as people continue to use their smartphones and tablets at home — and as long as people have employers — it will be increasingly difficult to keep the two separate.