There’s been a significant amount of buzz in tech circles over the last year or so about the advent of BYOD, or “Bring Your Own Device“. There are those that are concerned that allowing end users to have their own equipment (usually a smartphone) will create holes in enterprise security. On the other side, there are those that understand they will get more out of their workforce if they are comfortable with their own device. There really isn’t a black and white solution to this dilemma. It boils down to what works best for your individual company.
Can BYOD be safely implemented in a corporate environment?
It’s true, on the negative side, that your company may not have as much control over their interests if data resides on a personal device. This is even truer for smaller companies that aren’t running full enterprise level mail servers and have mail that actually lives on the device after leaving the server. Yes, this can be fixed by installing, configuring and maintaining your own corporate mail system. However, building internal infrastructure isn’t economically feasible for a small company and is a bit of overkill for what should be a simple problem.
So how do we fix this?
One of the most cost effective options is to offload the high costs of keeping it in-house and moving to a hosted cloud option. All those worries about a lost device or an employee leaving can be alleviated by simply shutting down the account. To go even deeper, Blackberry devices using BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) and devices using basic Exchange ActiveSync can be remotely wiped and locked.
Overall, for users to fully embrace the inclusion of a work device in their life, it has to become a functional part of their life. Nobody wants to carry two devices around anymore. Again, Blackberry has had some innovation in that regard with the BB10 ‘Balance’ allowing for two profiles; one for work and one for personal. It’s a bit like letting your device change out of work clothes and relax at the end of the day. That’s not to say that other manufacturers haven’t provided excellent offerings to the BYOD market. The proliferation of Apple and Android products has forced the development of technologies to allow them to integrate nicely into the corporate world.
The choice is one that each company will have to make on their own. But for those looking to get enterprise function on an SMB budget, hosting will be the smartest choice. What will make all the difference is having the right Managed IT services provider to assist in integration, management and planning.