The rate at which technology is evolving is so rapid that current tech products are becoming “a thing of the past” within a few months of their 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. Think about when supercomputers were first introduced to perform computational tasks. The machines then occupied a vast amount of space. Today, computational power has been transformed into smartphones that fit in the palm of your hand, and these devices perform the most powerful tasks one can imagine!
These technology evolutions have been consistent in the past, and they will continue in the future.
The introduction of devices such as tablets and smartphones has caused a disruption in the market by entirely changing the way we work, giving rise to the “bring your own device” (BYOD) model. The BYOD model has created challenges within enterprises related to handling a growing number of personal devices, and it will continue to be a challenge.
As the future unfolds, we are in a better position to understand, and be prepared for, some of the challenges technological advancements throw at us. The much-hyped Google Glass, new smart watches and many more technological innovations might create further disruptions that lead to “BYOD 2.0.”
So what would a BYOD 2.0 mean to the enterprise? Gartner has identified Mobile Device Diversity and Management as one of the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2014, calling for enterprises to actively embrace the change the technology will bring. Companies currently are handling a wide array of devices, such as smartphones and tablets. As the use of wearable devices grows, IT teams will face increased challenges as they work to handle device diversity.
With new devices coming to market every year, security concerns remain paramount for enterprises. Factors such as device hacking, virus threats and device mismanagement will continue to act as conduits for data leakage. But 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 the mobile device ecosystem, the principles remain the same. It is therefore 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.
With all that said, there are a few things that IT teams can do to reduce current and future BYOD 2.0 risks, including:
1. Set expectations
When it comes to embracing technological innovations, it’s a good idea to set expectations based on employee roles and IT requirements for device usage. This gives organizations more agility in streamlining the right set of users, securing data and ensuring effective productivity at work.
2. Develop policies
Policies enable companies to define the rights and responsibilities of the IT team and of employees, safeguarding the interests of the organization and of employees. To create an effective legal policy, the legal team must ensure that policies comply with local laws in providing the right degree of employee privacy levels and ensure that policies are executable.
3. Create awareness
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.
4. Find the right mobility management software
One-size-fits-all is definitely not an option for managing mobile devices because every enterprise has different needs. In general, MDM vendors provide basic mobile device management (MDM) features. A few also offer advanced features that not every enterprise will need. 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 an MDM software decision for your clients, you should do the following:
▪ Create a checklist that matches the features that satisfy your client MDM needs
▪ Create a checklist of MDM vendors that 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 BYOD trends present. However, IT services would do well to learn from Apple’s first iPhone release: Be proactive! IT service vendors must become early adopters of new technology, but they must also keep updated about possible risks in the future and ensure that client organizations' data stays secure.
Vijay Saradhi, is a marketing analyst at ManageEngine, a division of Zoho Corp, where he manages the product marketing for its Desktop & Mobile Device Managementsolution offering.He has expertise in IT services and products, with four years' experience. You can reach him on LinkedIn or follow his tweets at: @vijaysarathi12. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship.