2012 ITSM Challenges: BYOD and Other Hardware Issues for CFIOs

DSC_0036.JPGThe pace of business is accelerating, and one of the current challenges pivots around the work-life balance. Today, as the business world moves toward a cloud-based IT service management model, it is becoming increasingly important to integrate all personal productivity hardware and software in company networks.

Due to the ubiquitous nature of cloud technology, the blending of personal and work data brings a new level of complexity to technology management. The bottom line is that the cloud makes it relatively easy to access company data remotely, make posts to social websites, and “force” many employees to work while offsite for days in a week rather than for hours in a day. While these developments can be a huge boon to productivity, they also require special IT service management for device management, data control, management, and monitoring.

To address this change, an IT management consulting expert will ask, “How’s your BYOD landscape?” BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device – more and more workers are using their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones for business purposes. The challenge from an IT service management perspective is making sure your Diaspora of workers can enjoy convenient, effective connectivity to the files they need, no matter which personal or corporate piece of equipment they’re using for access. In this BYOD hardware landscape, accessibility is the defining issue! Everyone wants access all the time and from everywhere, so your current IT service management landscape must adapt.

To think about the same issue in a different way, companies need to ensure secure data access plus foster efficiency. Whereas the previous decade’s technology required workers to be onsite to access company files, the new challenge is whether all employees can access the proper files remotely, at any time of day or night, from either a company-supplied device or their personal device.

If your company has yet to establish a BYOD protocol, IT management consulting firms recommend the following tips:

Don’t let your password protection protocols go by the wayside. BYOD users may complain about having to type passwords in on tiny screens, but if you don’t maintain password protection you risk your company’s data.

Specify which BYOD devices are compatible. Will your system accommodate iPads? Android phones? Also, provide some form of help desk for employees who need to synch up their devices.

Think about wiping data. Every BYOD has a lifecycle – and when it’s no longer useful, the user will need to clear it of data prior to recycling. How will you wipe company data, and how can employees restore or maintain personal information post-wipe? Also, consider how you will handle data privacy when an employee leaves. What do you do when a device is stolen?

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as BYOD is concerned. For more information tailored to your company, it’s wise to discuss this issue with an IT management consulting expert.

[ Photo by: Chris_Samuel, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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