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The bring-your-own-device economy: empowering a mobile workforce

Businesses today are going mobile, with workers using their own technology and devices in the enterprise and the boundaries between work and personal time and space blurring.

Employees will use the IT tools that enable their work to be more productive and collaborative, regardless of whether tools are accessed in the consumer or enterprise realm. So, IT teams need to support this shift to mobility, in a way that combines consumer usability with enterprise-grade security.

The dilemma that organisations are facing with the decision to shift to enterprise mobility is how to navigate the transition and maximise the benefits of the transformation. A truly mobile and productive workforce requires access to information anytime, anywhere and securely.

Some of the tools that offer a consumer experience and collaboration available to enterprises today include file sharing, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and security analytics.

One of the first areas organisations need to focus their mobility agenda on is access to data.

Syncplicity is one such solution - a file sync and sharing system that is built for organisations, thus enabling users to interact and share content on their device of choice with the security and governance IT requires.

Users are able to easily collaborate and distribute files of any size to large teams, internally or externally without a virtual private network or IT intervention, with encryption every step of the way. Additionally, users are able to share access to data with read-only or read-write permissions.

With an interface that is consistent amongst the user's devices, users get a similar experience of easy access to data and applications. With powerful data-centre infrastructure, VDI enables the ability to scale up and seamlessly, whilst also being space-efficient.

Because there is no storage on the device, VDI technology addresses a big security issue as there is no data on the device to hack or steal, particularly when a device is lost or an employee leaves.

This centralised system also helps organisations leverage the potential of their virtual environments by streamlining deployment, administration and on-going system management.

The dynamic network that enterprises and their workforce operate in is always changing, and thus organisations confront unprecedented network infrastructure risk arising from increasing access points where malware can affect the network.

As such, IT can leverage Big Data analytics to provide deeper visibility into the organisation to detect and permit normal behaviour and challenge or block anomalous activity. Security analytics helps organisations achieve a higher level of trust in the enterprise, cloud and mobile environments.

Having a single architecture allows all information to be captured, indexed, analysed and shared and then analysed against "normal" user behaviour to discern threats. Critically, end-user convenience needs to be maintained whilst security solutions run in the background.

IT teams need to assess the options and tools alongside the needs of the organisation. Whilst globalisation of IT and the workforce changes how users engage with IT and how they prefer to work will always evolve, IT teams will need to readily address the security, compliance and management issues with a mobility strategy.

IT will then enable greater business value in productivity and encouraging ongoing innovation with the workforce, graduating from a cost centre into a value-added resource.

Nathakorn Potejanasaja is country manager of EMC Information Systems (Thailand).


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