Challenges and Opportunities for the Enterprise Embracing BYOD and Flexible Office Policies

Joel Stradling
Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • Our research indicates that two-thirds of business use personally owned mobile devices for doing business.
  • Working remotely can have some downsides, such as insufficient bandwidth for running a video or VoIP conference.

There are more and more examples of companies that are open to their employees using their own personal handhelds and whichever apps they might choose to conduct business. This might even be a key criterion for budding new recruits considering which company to join, so the IT department has to adapt and loosen some rules to attract the best flip-flop and shorts-wearing talent.

Some verticals including for example pharmaceutical, banking, and healthcare, will block such freedom with very strict policies in place. The ubiquitous handheld and laptops, plus good availability of Wi-Fi access, are also contributing to a more flexible approach of where one works, with the ‘Internet café area’ in office buildings becoming a meeting hub and usurper of the traditional executive private office. This tends to mean that workers will spend some time at the workplace and the rest working from home or remotely, which can raise challenges on what type of access is available and whether it will be suitable for that video call.

The bottom line is that in today’s working environment, the IT department has to play the role of facilitator and in some respects has lost its power in exercising full control over the IT tools in use. This is not a bad thing as increased productivity is the positive flipside. However, some control needs to be exercised, especially in the area of securing the perimeter regardless of where the end-user is, which device he/she is using, and leveraging which cloud-based apps.

What do you think?

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