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. Read more of this post

Google’s New “Android for Work” Program Actually Puts BYOD to Work

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Google has at last launched its Android for Work program, prioritizing Android devices within the workplace through the separation of personal and professional data profiles.
  • But don’t look for Google to secure this data on its own; instead customers can look to partners AirWatch, MobileIron, SAP, Soti, MaaS360, Citrix, and others for full bore data security in the workplace.

Forget the Apple iOS and Google Android user wars. It doesn’t matter which one wins a user’s heart. In the enterprise, any enterprise willing to embrace the BYOD mindset, such questions just don’t matter. What’s important is the ability to make manageable and secure whatever crazy device users decide to bring into the workplace. But that’s never been an easy proposition. Read more of this post

UC’s Advent is Welcome, But Should Not Distract Enterprises from Their Core Fixed Services

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises should be excited about the potential benefits of UC – including BYOD and mobile device management (MDM).
  • Enterprises should also remember that traditional IP telephony and networking services remain business critical.

I wrote in my last blog that unified communications (UC) services are now finally achieving critical mass, and that widespread adoption is expected in 2014. In response to this positive surge, the marketing teams at every major ICT provider will be in over drive to proclaim the most unified, most mobility-driven, and cloud-based proposition. And, as I write on Christmas Eve, there are reasons for enterprises to celebrate this advent. BYOD, as I have previously written, is both a security concern and a potential efficiency driver if handled correctly. MDM packaged with single number dialling and unified email and messaging and (probably) presence functionality is something that enterprises should now be looking to roll out to all mobile workers. MDM on its own should be applied to every worker within an organisation, and cloud/network-hosted delivery is the only way for most enterprises to achieve this.       Read more of this post

New Managed Mobility Launches Shed Light on BYOD Evolution

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • New managed mobility services announcements were made this week and last by U.S. and European service providers, T-Mobile USA and BT
  • T-Mobile USA is adding a second MDM platform – SOTI Mobile Control – (in addition to its recent launch of MobileIron) for mobile deployments

While T-Mobile’s new service shows a progression from its former stance of simply reselling third-party vendor solutions without much “skin in the game”, the carrier is now offering a fully managed service, more in line with what AT&T and Verizon have been offering for TEM/logistics, MDM, MAM and increasingly, mobile security, for some time. BT, on the other hand, is viewing the in-office wireless LAN as an area just as rife with complications from employees bringing in their own tablets and smartphones as it is for companies with cellular-based mobile workers. Most mobile operators aren’t addressing the WLAN side of the equation as they make their money on the cellular side from devices and service plans; on the other hand, BT does not own its own mobile assets but is more of a pure-play provider of managed mobility services and consulting. Read more of this post

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. Read more of this post

BYOA and the Enterprise Application Portal: Create Your Own Internal Company Storefront

Joel Stradling

Joel Stradling

Summary Bullets:

  • The concept of ‘consumerization of IT’ is sure to evolve naturally in your organization, as employees want to use applications of their own choosing.
  • Some policy control is essential, and a sanctioned company app store is a good idea.
  • Companies such as Intel give employees an official app store, but users can also freely consume ‘unofficial’ apps from outside this domain.

First, the Chief Information Officer had to deal with the complexities that BYOD brought up; now, there is an increasing momentum to BYOA – in other words ’bring your own application.’  Extending beyond this is the concept of an open storefront for appliances, computing power, storage, OS, databases and so on – in other words, all IT.  Service providers are on board, as evidenced by the launches of several online store initiatives: Interoute launched CloudStore, offering applications, appliances, professional services and more; Belgacom offers Becloud; KPN offers a cloud store; and Orange’s VPN Galerie offers access to many apps developed both by Orange and by independent ISVs.  It is fair to say that the concept is already mature for the SME market place, with Belgacom’s Becloud offerings tailored for the mass SME segment but with more sophistication for larger companies.  Similarly, KPN’s Open Cloud Store gives its reseller partners (ISPs, SIs and other telcos) the opportunity to sell, provision and support cloud services to the diverse Dutch SME market. Read more of this post

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. Read more of this post

WebRTC: Near-term Battlefield, Long-term Impact on IT

Brian Riggs

Brian Riggs

Summary Bullets:                

  • WebRTC is a promising technology with an uncertain future, particularly in the enterprise
  • WebRTC could impact how corporate IT departments deploy comms software, but not for some time yet

WebRTC is a new technology that has the potential to impact how corporate IT departments purchase and deploy communications software. But sparring among industry heavyweights could deal WebRTC a knockout punch before it ever finds its way into the enterprise. Read more of this post

Balancing the Need for Access and Security in the Age of IT Consumerization

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Trends such as the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) movement put more IT power into the hands of end users.  However, making IT resources more accessible can significantly increase the risk of breaches.
  • Having a handle on data security in what today are extremely porous environments requires more than sophisticated technology; enterprises also need to have the right policies and practices in place to avoid the most prevalent cause of incidents: human error.

Access is everything in IT today, with organizations placing a premium on the ability to tap into enterprise resources from virtually any location and a multitude of different device types.  This extensible approach to enterprise IT is meant to support more productive and agile operating models.  However, for all the potential value technologies such as mobility can bring to an organization, there is also risk associated with allowing end users and their often unmanaged devices rights to direct entry to critical resources. Read more of this post

Networks Do Matter – Really!

Jerry Caron

Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:              

  • Networks and networking suffer from a lack of respect that defies logic.
  • Innovation continues apace, however, the industry often fails to give these advances the attention they deserve.

Networks and the stuff that make them work are suffering from a dearth of respect to which even Rodney Dangerfield would have to defer. Sure, we all know that it is lunacy to dismiss the value of both private and public networks because the quality of experience is utterly dependent on the quality of the network connections. This is a stone-cold fact, whether we are talking about a teenager looking at YouTube videos on a smartphone, or a business running mission-critical applications.

Yet while networks and networking have never been truly glamorous, there is a perceptible downward trend in love for the stuff of connectivity. It has long been the case, for example, that the hottest, most admired Internet businesses take public and private networks for granted and ride roughshod over them with something approaching complete disdain. If Facebook is sluggish, you don’t blame Facebook, do you?. Read more of this post