BYOD Acceptance Allowing IT Managers to Control Security, Data Access
Marking an evolution both within RIM and the businesses it serves, the company now offers BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a product that extends BlackBerry-level security and classic RIM device management features to also iOS and Android-running devices. In an additional departure from the old way of thinking about "work devices," Mobile Fusion includes BlackBerry Balance, a technology for BlackBerry devices that separates a user's work and personal content. While an IT manager can wipe corporate data from a BlackBerry in the instance that a device is lost, he or she has no view of a worker's personal emails or files. Make BYOD acceptance work for you When workers have everything they need in their hands and can work on the device they're most comfortable with, said Holleran, "It starts to transform how someone feels about their workday."The cloud is central to Microsoft's business applications today and its answer, said Conway, to the question, "How do we help businesses and the IT pros who work for them to be super productive while making sure we keep the company and its assets secure?" Conway says Microsoft's approach is "people-oriented" and that it works to put the user at the center of its solutions. "We've looked at the numbers and users have between five and seven smart and connected devices and they're trying to get work done." Microsoft's approach has three main components, said Conway. The first is creating a personalized experience. "They want their apps, their data ... we begin with that, and at the center of the solution is someone's identity." The next piece is a decision about how to do things like deliver applications, manage applications and de-provision devices; and the final piece is about accessing technologies. With Microsoft's DirectAccess in its Windows Server OS, remote employees can work as though they're on the corporate network, even without connecting through a virtual private network (VPN). Conway argues that people are already using cloud services and are comfortable with the cloud. "[Workers] are more often connected to the cloud than to your corporate network ... so as you think about managing [enterprise] solutions, a cloud solution has a huge amount of utility." While BYOD is challenging organizations, it's also offering them a chance to be more flexible, more efficient and gain business benefits by responding to the needs of employees. ("You bring in the most talented people you can—well, people are most productive when they can work in ways they're comfortable," said Microsoft's Conway.) It's also offering IT a chance to catch up, evolve and put itself in a better position to succeed. BYOD, says Gartner's Dulaney, is just one part of an overall mobile strategy. "The challenge is to develop a mobile strategy, in that you're looking at each aspect of your business and figuring out how mobility affects it. Mobility means change is frequent and constant—and IT is terrible at reacting to change because they have too many baked-in bad assumptions," said Dulaney. "This is really about developing a mobile strategy."
Microsoft's Conway agrees. "People are more productive if you give them a range of options about how to get their work done," he told eWEEK. "They can be happier about conducting work when it's on their own terms."