|By Ray Barber||
|September 3, 2013 07:30 AM EDT||
Employees today expect that in their professional lives they can work using the types of tools and technologies they prefer in their personal lives, and their personal mobile devices are chief among them. Three quarters of businesses today allow some sort of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) usage for employees, and this number is rapidly growing. This explosion has taken a toll on already strained IT departments as they struggle to manage and secure corporate assets and data in this environment, while also meeting employee demands for autonomy and freedom from corporate control over their personal data and activities.
As BYOD becomes a reality for more and more organizations, the challenge is an ongoing tug-of-war between managing corporate risk and manageability concerns while driving employee acceptance and satisfaction.
Risk and Manageability
With employees bringing personal devices into the workplace, organizations are faced with a new set of challenges. How can organizations set up and manage access on employee mobile devices? What happens when a device is lost or stolen? Can the organization ensure that corporate data is wiped from the phone and access to corporate systems is immediately shut off? A heavy-handed approach to managing mobile devices, in which the organization controls all data on that device and can wipe it clean if needed, was the approach taken when mobile devices were provided by the organization. While this approach meets organizations' needs for data security, in a BYOD environment employees will not allow this sort of corporate control over their personal devices. In a BYOD environment, a new solution is needed in which corporations can control corporate data without invasive levels of control and oversight over personal data and activities on the device.
Employee Satisfaction and Acceptance
The reality is that if businesses don't give employees the ability to work with the tools they want to in the ways they want to, employees will go outside of the corporate standard and bring their own tools and technologies into the equation. Even with the most stringent IT policies, this leads to risks to corporate data and security, not to mention employee dissatisfaction. Thus the challenge for organizations is not to reject BYOD, but rather to embrace this trend and find new ways of meeting corporate requirements in this new environment.
The Solution: Containerization
There is an answer that balances corporations' needs for manageability and security with employees' demands for choice and freedom. Technologies for containerization on mobile devices are the answer. With installable apps that create a corporate ‘container' on an employee's personal device, organizations can provide a secure environment that is controllable by the organization. Within these secure apps, users have the ability to access secure email, data and files from the company network. Thanks to a private secure communications channel between the app and a gateway behind the company firewall there is no need for cumbersome VPNs. Each app provides seamless access to systems within a container that offers organizations full control to manage and secure the environment as needed. The rest of the device remains under the control of the employee, and personal and corporate data are not comingled.
The convenience of an installable app also means that getting set up is as simple as an app download on the user's device, rather than having to go through the painful process of configuring mail, VPN settings, special authentication and more for access to corporate systems from a mobile device. This saves time for both the employee and the IT department.
Organizations today want to give employees the right tools so they can maximize productivity and employee satisfaction. BYOD has emerged as a key program for enabling this. BYOD management when done right, doesn't force heavy-handed corporate control onto employees and their personal devices, but rather enables ease of use and ease of access to data, while also meeting corporate standards for security and manageability. Containerization is the key to striking this balance, and forward-thinking IT organizations are embracing this solution to meet both corporate and employee needs, turning the tug-of-war into a win-win situation in which they can delight both of their customers simultaneously.