BYOD is not a fashion statement; it’s an architectural shift - by Indus Khaitan

Ten years ago, if you asked a CIO, “how mobile is your enterprise?”. The answer would be, “100%, we give Blackberry to all our employees.”

Few things have changed since then:

1.    Smartphone form-factors have matured, especially after the launch of iPhone.
2.    Rapid growth of productivity applications and services that enable creation and consumption of digital content
3.    Pervasive mobile data connectivity

There are two threads emerging from the change. Users are rapidly mingling their personas of an individual as well as an employee. In the first second, posting a picture of a fancy dinner on Facebook, to creating an expense report for the same meal on the mobile device.

Irrespective of the dual persona, a user’s personal and corporate lives intermingle freely on a single hardware and more often than not, it’s an employees personal smartphone being used for everything.
A BYOD program enables IT to “control” an employee owned device, while enabling productivity. More often than not the objective of BYOD programs are financial; instead of the organization, an employee pays for it.  More than a fancy device, BYOD initiatives have become sort of fashion statement, of corporate productivity, of letting employees be in-charge and a show of corporate empathy to not force an archaic form-factor in a world of new device launches every month.

BYOD is no longer a means of effectively moving expense dollars and support costs. It does not matter who owns the device, it has to be protected.  BYOD brings an architectural shift.  BYOD is an architecture, which assumes that every device is vulnerable, not just what your employees have brought but what organizations have purchased for their employees. It's an architecture, which forces us to rethink how to provide productivity without comprising security.

Why assume that every device is vulnerable?

Mobile operating systems are rapidly evolving with leading upgrade announcement every other month. It is impossible for IT to catch-up. More than that, user’s are savvier than earlier.  While IT could install locks at the doors to prevent intruders, it may degrade productivity—which incentivizes user’s to bypass restrictions. A rapidly evolving mobile ecosystem have moving parts which are vulnerable.

Hence, creating a mobile security platform, which uses the fundamental blocks of BYOD architecture such as identity defragmentation, IT control and data isolation, ensures that the sprawl of corporate data is contained.

In the next post, we’ll dig deeper into the BYOD architecture.
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Oracle Identity Management is a complete and integrated next-generation identity management platform that provides breakthrough scalability; enables organizations to achieve rapid compliance with regulatory mandates; secures sensitive applications and data regardless of whether they are hosted on-premise or in a cloud; and reduces operational costs. Oracle Identity Management enables secure user access to resources anytime on any device.

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