Corporate BYOD Policies Brings Security and Productivity

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Ignoring the impact of smartphones in the workplace is no longer an option.
  • A well constructed BYOD policy will deliver security and productivity benefits.

BT has this week gone to market with its latest bring your own device (BYOD) proposition, its BT Advise BYOD Quick Start suite, which includes monitoring and security services. BT’s launch has been backed by an accompanying white paper ‘Bring Your Own Device’. The conclusions of this report provide further proof that (as this writer has previously argued) enterprises can no longer afford to be without a BYOD policy. The research suggests that around 50% of employees are now formally allowed to use their mobile devices at work, but that actual usage rates are significantly higher. In other words, most companies now know that preventing mobile device usage is a losing battle. What is more significant for enterprises, however, is that 60% of the surveyed IT managers felt that using smart devices in the workplace increased worker efficiency and 84% of IT managers surveyed believe that a BYOD policy confers a competitive advantage, with 31% suggesting that a BYOD policy gives a ‘significant advantage’. Of employees surveyed, 59% stated that they use personal devices to access files from company servers. With productivity advantages on one side and real security risks on the other, perhaps the biggest surprise in BT and Cisco’s white paper was that the research suggested that the number of enterprises with an official BYOD policy in place has fallen. Continue reading “Corporate BYOD Policies Brings Security and Productivity”

Shopping Habits Are Changing, but ICT Can Keep the In-Store Experience Relevant

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • If the customer is ‘always right,’ then retailers need to accept that e-commerce is not wrong.
  • The boundary between online and in-store shopping is more blurry than it first appears.

‘Showrooming’ is one of the latest neologisms buzzing around media outlets in the UK and elsewhere.  The word describes a phenomenon that most of us have been aware of for some time and probably many of us are guilty of more often than we would care to admit.  The ‘crime’ is that of walking into a high street store, looking at a product, even trying it on/out and then buying the product online for a lower price – increasingly often via a smartphone whilst still in the store.  The problems of brick-and-mortar costs (rent, rates/tax, energy, staff, etc.) versus online stores are also well known; so how do modern retailers seek to turn around this trend? Continue reading “Shopping Habits Are Changing, but ICT Can Keep the In-Store Experience Relevant”

Social Media Can Play an Important Role in Companies’ Collaborative Working Practices

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • In an increasingly global world and amidst a growing demand/need for flexible working patterns, collaboration tools become more important.
  • Companies deploying unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions should consider including social media as part of the ‘collaboration’ element.

Yahoo! chief Marissa Mayer has recently announced that the company is to end the practice of ‘remote’ working (i.e., home working) amongst its employees.  However, the Yahoo! chief was quoted as saying, “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side.  That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.”  This brings in a slightly separate element to the efficiency debate.  This is not suggesting that home workers cannot produce as much ‘work’ as office workers, but that the collaborative creative process is harmed by not having employees grouped together in one location.  However, as flexible working becomes not only more in demand from employees, but also a reality for organisations with multiple offices or those seeking to reduce their office space due to economic pressures, collaboration tools become more important.  The nature of certain jobs (e.g., sales or field operatives) also means that some employees will always be remote workers. Continue reading “Social Media Can Play an Important Role in Companies’ Collaborative Working Practices”

2013 to Be the Year of BYOD and MDM

Gary Barton
Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • BYOD should be seen as an opportunity to boost worker efficiency.
  • BYOD creates security challenges, but there are effective MDM solutions available.

2013 should be the year when the cloud stops being a buzz word and starts to gain real traction, particularly for IP voice and unified communications (UC) services.  The ‘cloud’ is an amorphous and much abused term, but despite its presence on the homepage of every telecoms provider in Europe, take-up of fully hosted voice and UC solutions has been slower than the hype would suggest.  Persuading enterprises to part with their PBX is challenging.  However, as fully hosted MS Lync solutions start to be offered by the majority of major telcos across Europe, alongside hosted Cisco, Avaya and Mitel-based solutions, and the case studies begin to emerge, enterprises should now have enough confidence to consider ‘taking the plunge.’  A hosted solution will not suit all businesses and virtualisation will be preferable for many over a truly cloud solution, but the overall need for a CPE-based PBX has all but been eliminated for the majority of business customers. Continue reading “2013 to Be the Year of BYOD and MDM”