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Entries in BYOD (1)

Monday
Apr092012

The Case for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) 

When you hire a carpenter, do you have to buy the saw?  The answer is obviously no, the carpenter brings the tools of their trade.  Why isn’t it the same in IT?

As a “migrant white collar worker” (aka consultant), we get to see what many organizations do for their desktop support.  Many give us a laptop to do work, on the presumption we won’t take their data and our machine will, by default, adhere to their security policies.

(This is very misguided.  Inevitably we are asked by the client to help get a large (legitimate) file on to one of their own machines (like a set of data center plans).   Bottom line is we can get the file there…and we’re not breaking any rules.  And, I digress.)

The time for Bring Your Own Device is here. 

Yes, there are organizations that will do virtual desktops, or a Desktone solution.  For some organizations, these will be fine transitional approaches to what we believe is an environment truly open to virtually any device.

To make this happen, security organizations will have to be enlightened on what is really being secured.  The truth is, it’s the data.  If customer data is on a laptop, that laptop is a risk.  Why is customer data on a laptop?  Organizations must protect data.

Applications will need to be written to accept different devices.  Years ago, I was a Mac man.  I gave up and went to the Microsoft world as it was (in the late 80s) hard to work in a mixed environment.  Today, that’s hardly a consideration.  Macs and PCs interact every day. 

Devices will present a challenge.  Frankly, I don’t care what device you use.  If you like an underpowered machine (hand saw) and I like more power (power saw), so be it.  That said, I happen to like my BlackBerry for email/calendar/contact integration…yet it is a dying machine in favor of glitzier, arguably less secure tools.  Far be it from me to try and resurrect RIM, but their email integration is fabulous (I’m not a fan of sending everything to them first, but again I digress.)

What’s the key in your company?  Are you considering BYOD, or is it a distant future?