Everyone understands that the phenomenon is here to stay, but not that many appreciate how difficult it is to control.
The IT industry is very seasonal and there are new catch phrases, acronyms and trends emerging all the time. At the moment, no matter where you go, or who you speak to, the “bring your own device” (BYOD) conundrum will more than likely make its way into the conversation.
As with any technology there are pros and cons associated with BYOD. Companies have to define boundaries and rules without infringing on the privacy of their employees. This is a delicate balancing act where a company needs to minimise risk by creating equilibrium between the demands of business customers with the protection of sensitive data, all the while maintaining a consistent experience for productivity.
If anyone knows how to handle this particularly prickly problem it is Alexandra Zagury, MD for South and Southern Africa at BlackBerry. In her opinion, the common consensus in business is that BYOD can save money, and lots of it. “There are those who worry that the biggest challenge of BYOD is increased information security risk. Irrespective of how the CIO or IT manager feels about BYOD, it is essential for any enterprise to develop a strategy for the inclusion of mobile devices in the business. This is especially true as the younger, connected generation graduate into today’s workforce.”
Having scrutinised the challenges faced and reservations held by companies, BlackBerry has engineered solutions that may just alleviate the fears of even the most sceptical individuals.
At the moment, no matter where you go, or who you speak to, the bring your own device (BYOD) conundrum will more than likely make its way into the conversation.
In direct response to the BYOD trend, BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 (BES) has evolved to cater to the needs of businesses around the world. “We’ve met with CIOs and IT administrators and are heavily involved in the mobile landscape for business in a wide range of applications,” says Zagury. “We have built our solution based on their needs and feedback.”
In an increasingly complex mobile world, BES 10 provides anintegrated platform for large businesses to securely manage mobile devices. It provides a platform for IT managers to manage, provision, and activate devices, administer controls, push mandatory applications, and more, all from a single webbased console. “That said, BES 10 brings together not only BlackBerry smartphones and tablets, but other device platforms that employees are bringing into the workplace. In particular, network administrators can add and import iOS and Android users, create group memberships, view user and device information, manage applications, and much more.”
With the BES 10 version 10.1 update, BlackBerry has added a wealth of new features such as ‘regulated-level’ IT policy controls and settings. “This is aimed at government agencies and customers in regulated industries who require an advanced level of security, control and logging of BlackBerry 10 smartphones. It also allows customers to support BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry OS smartphones from asingle server.”
With 10.1, BlackBerry has also unveiled BlackBerry Enterprise Instant Messaging (Enterprise IM) 3.0, a free update of the company’s enterprise instant messaging solution, enablingcustomers with BlackBerry 10 smartphones to securely communicate over Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Office Communication Server or IBM Lotus Sametime.
BYOD has resulted in a growing need to manage both work and personal profiles on the same mobile device. With BYOD, some businesses have enabled employees to use personal devices for work purposes. “This trend increases the challenges of protecting corporate data, which can be compromised due to malware attacks, personal use applications, and other susceptibilities. BlackBerry 10 has the capability to help address this.”
BlackBerry 10 smartphones managed by BES 10 have been tightly integrated with BlackBerry Balance technology, which is designed to septarate corporate and personal data within the operating system. “On a corporate level, businesses can now draw a defined line between work and personal perimeters, thus septarating the respective applications, connections, and data. BlackBerry Balance provides end users with a seamless, gesture-based transition between their work and personal data.”
In addition to the existing enterprise mobility management capabilities of BES 10, BlackBerry is expanding its security with Secure Work Space for iOS and Android devices. “This offering extends BlackBerry security to third party devices, essentially creating a septarate and secure work space to hold corporate apps, work email, calendar, contacts, and more, without the need for a third party MDM provider, a costly VPN infrastructure or multiple vendors.”
We all understand that BYOD is here to stay, and will, inevitably become more prominent. How you choose to handle the deluge is up to you, but it is clear that you cannot bury your head in the sand and hope it all goes away. TSB