BYOD still in ‘emergent’ phase, get with it, you guys
By Benjamin Cher July 13, 2016
- True BYOD still emerging, people are seeing ‘work’ as a verb and not a noun
- Companies need to look at remote working as a natural progression
MANY have championed the cause of the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) trend, where employees get to choose and use their own personal devices to plug into the corporate network – but the reality is that IT departments are creaking along when it comes to changing policies and environments to enable this.
The BYOD trend is still in its emergent phase and not really as widespread as all the buzz would have you believe, according to Christian Reilly, vice president and chief technology officer of workspace services at Citrix Systems Inc.
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“True BYOD is still emerging; the majority of use cases we see are still pretty much from customers which provide devices as extensions to the corporate environment,” he says, speaking to Digital News Asia (DNA) in Singapore.
While there are cases of ‘true BYOD’ use, what Citrix has been mostly seeing are “corporately-managed endpoints,” he adds.
Ultimately, such initiatives have a core focus on productivity. Organisations are looking to digitise their existing paper-based processes, according to Reilly.
But they need to step up because remote working is now a reality, a trend they should see as just “a natural progression,” he says.
“When the iPads and iPhones arrived on the scene five years ago, it was a great opportunity for many organisations to improve overall productivity, and what happened was the consumer element began to drive the enterprise, rather than the enterprise enabling it because it was strategic.
“People realise now that work is a verb and not a noun.
“I tend to look at remote working in two ways – it’s either done because some organisations have philosophies around allowing people to work from home; or it’s because it’s part of what you do, for example, if you’re a travelling salesman,” he adds.
There are issues to tackle when devices leave the office. There is security, especially concerns on where employees are connecting from. There is also the issue of network quality as well, especially when employees connect from public WiFi networks.
“From a network performance perspective, there is a lot more demand being placed on enterprises which aren’t adopting full cloud services,” says Reilly.
“If I’m a roaming user, adopting a cloud service is slightly different because it’s incumbent on the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) provider to deliver the network,” he says.
This issue is more complicated for internal IT teams, which will have to decide what corporate IT policies apply, and this would depend on where the remote device is accessing the corporate network from.
“It’s all about protecting data at rest, in use, and in transit,” says Reilly.
Multiple screens at the workplace
Another complication is that people are using more than one device.
“Everybody I talk to has at least a laptop and an iPad or an iPhone, or an Android or Windows [device],” says Reilly (pic).
“People use different devices to do different things, and what you’ll see is the number of devices will continue to grow but they will be contextualised based on what people want,” he adds.
The number of apps per device might then shrink, with each device allocated for a specific use, while the actual number of devices rises.
“We need to understand those use cases and bring in the context and security to enable whatever it is that people want to do with any device,” says Reilly.
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