Network management key to BYOD
Managing the rapid pace of device adoption will remain the main challenge for companies looking to implement bring your own device (BYOD) policies.
This is the view of Prakash Khot, senior engineer at IT management software company Kaseya, who adds that, although infrastructure capacity needs to catch up from an African perspective, this is a challenge organisations face globally and is not restricted to specific regions.
"Half the world's population is adopting mobile devices, and BYOD policies are already being implemented in areas such as education, where kids can now do their homework on the iPad.As much as this is positive - in that it means continued development of mobile business applications in the enterprise environment and quick delivery of solutions in vertical markets - it also carries some challenges.
According to Khot, these challenges vary and include determining data ownership between the employee and the company; security implications that come with device and information overlap; application accessibility per user and per device; policy enforcement; IT and helpdesk overload; levels of visibility; as well as network challenges and compliance.
To work around these challenges, he notes that organisations should determine how the BYOD policy should fit into the business' IT management, and follow this process through from adoption to monitoring, especially when it comes to the network.
"Without an automated method to define the employee network profile, provisioning each device becomes a support issue," explains Khot.
He states that it is important to know how many, and what types of, devices are on the organisation's network and who is using the network, adding that support for the broadest set of devices becomes unmanageable when scaling to thousands of users with dozens of device types, OS platforms and WiFi drivers.
To address these challenges, the company has developed the Kaseya BYOD Suite, which provides installable apps that create a corporate 'container' on an employee's personal device, creating a secure environment that is controllable by the IT team.
Randall Spangler, president of IT services company MERIT Solutions, says the Kaseya BYOD Suite provides the highest levels of security for corporate data while segregating it from personal data on mobile devices.
"If an employee leaves the company or a device is compromised, we can quickly wipe the enterprise data on that device without impacting the employee's personal information. This solution puts our customers' BYOD privacy and security concerns to rest," he says.
Khot explains that organisations should take into account consistency, response time and implementation of feedback received from customers as key factors influencing the solutions they build.
"We have regular interactions with our customers where they get insight into our thinking and vice-versa. In some cases, we come across ahead-of-the-curve customers who are already planning for challenges we have not even envisioned; this helps us with our roadmap to developing products they can actually use," concludes Khot.