By- Rahul Agarwal, Managing Director, Lenovo India
With the increasing need to ensure maximum employee efficiency and flexibility further made complex by changing employee profiles, more companies are adopting model of Choose Your Own Device (CYOD). CYOD offers the unique advantage of satisfying both parties in question- provide employees sufficient flexibility with a choice of devices and usage; the organization has significant control of device security. This penetration of personal devices into office has disrupted traditional approaches to selling, provisioning, and managing end-user computing devices. The following are some of the key elements in a CIO’s checklist while formulating device security policies at the workplace:
Move from B to C: CYOD balances the freedom that users want—the ability to have a cool smartphone or tablet along with the IT department’s need to control device access. With CYOD, companies qualify several platforms, including Windows, Android and others, and employees can choose a smartphone or tablet from a predefined menu. Employees feel like there’s a choice and IT support is then stretched thin in the best of circumstances, but with a limited variety of devices, IT isn’t overwhelmed at the end of the day. Limiting the number and type of devices permitted and increasing user’s access to self-help, allow IT members to focus on other critical support and strategic needs.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI): Through VDI, CIOs can assure a secure use of personal devices on the corporate network. It offers is a virtualized solution with data residing on the central server with access that has been provided through a virtual desktop. Companies can leverage VDI to bring all devices and solutions up to date. When employees need to access business applications, they simply need to log into their VDI workspace right from their device. Important data stays within the company’s data center, but end users have the flexibility of accessing applications and securely collaborating while on the go.
Mobile Device Management (MDM): CIOs need to deploy MDM solutions beyond basic features, such as data wipe, device inventory and adding features like incident management, tracking, managing phone numbers, line assignments, generating and analyzing management information reports, etc. Depending on the organization’s scalability needs, it can go for an on-premise or a SaaS MDM solution. Currently, the vast majority of companies employ an in-house platform, but SaaS solutions offer certain advantages. For instance, the speed with which new users can get set up is significantly faster with a cloud-based service, in some instances under 24 hours.
Unique security policy for all devices: Regardless of ownership of devices, there should be a unique security policy with password protection, timeout features and remote wipe to protect vital company information.
Reduce unnecessary network traffic: Personal and non-essential downloads can cripple an internal network. Placing parameters on the information allowed for download will help organizations leverage their network for transactions that need to occur.
Communicate the policy and educate users: Many organizations do not properly communicate or train employees about CYOD policies. Take time to implement training. Educated employees are more likely to follow and take responsibility for adhering to company policies.
With this evolving wave, CYOD is widely becoming a preferred device management policy across enterprises. It is essential for organizations to gear up with a flexible policy to suit the rapidly changing workforce environment.