In recent conversations with our service provider partners and customers, I’ve been hearing a common theme: their enterprise customers are scared of BYOD. The recent trend of employees using their own technology – iPads, smart-phones etc. – to connect with corporate assets worries them. Their main concern is that they won’t be able to keep up with the security and management requirements that go along with this new method of accessing data assets.
While there are existing solutions for playing keep-up, many of them rely on isolation and restriction to prevent corporate assets from traveling too far from the enterprise. Unfortunately, I think employees – especially the more tech-savvy among them – will resent having corporate security policies installed on their devices or being limited to separate-but-equal wireless networks with limited access to the resources necessary to do their jobs. By focusing on containment and control, enterprises are missing an amazing opportunity to make BYOD work for them.
The efficiencies gained by embracing the inevitable and implementing some BYOD-centric systems should not be overlooked. Layer 7 customers are creating mobile applications designed specifically to support their employees, whether their devices are employee-owned or provided by IT. Our solutions for security and governance of the APIs used by those applications can prevent data leakage, protect against incoming threats and provide access to only appropriate personnel.
So, whether your employees are baggage handlers determining the destination for a piece of lost luggage, nurses providing care to house-bound patients or remote employees connecting to their peers through a corporate directory and communication hub, the real winner is the bottom line. BYOD and mobile workforce enablement are opportunities to embrace – not afflictions to be cured – and we’re here to help.