July 14, 2013

BYOD – Mitigating risk through virtualisation

Bring Your Own Device. It’s strange how four simple words can embody such a divisive topic.

Although they may appear relatively innocent, championing consumer preference with a view towards boosting productivity, they also introduce the threat of corporate data leakage and compromised internal security into the corporate domain.

This is the very essence of the discussion that has so many executives and IT personnel at odds with each other. As technology becomes increasingly focused on consumer spending, how do technical departments meet employee needs whilst sidestepping the threats associated with lack of control and growing management overheads?

The answer lies in properly administrating the portals that employees use gain access to enterprise level applications and information. In doing so, staff members are afforded the opportunity to choose which device they would prefer to use, while accessing data in a more dynamic fashion.

Virtualisation is a practical approach to this challenge. Employing solutions such as VMware Horizon Workspace, IT departments are able to remotely provision critical services to employees without the risk of data leakage or misuse.

By centralising vital applications, information and services, businesses could actually be doing more to decentralise their employees. Streaming applications and workspaces to mobile devices in a controlled manner may be the key to a truly enabled virtual workforce without the risks commonly associated with BYOD.

This approach reduces the employee frustrations often associated with Mobile Device Management software, which often limits the capacity of a portable tablet, laptop or smartphone.

With so many diverse device offerings available to employees it is vital that IT technicians implement a robust enterprise level control system that enables corporate application access in a controlled manner without requiring the administration of these solutions within each mobile environment.

By supporting platforms supplied by the likes of Citrix, VMware and Microsoft, Aptronics has successfully reduced the difficulty associated with BYOD within the South African corporate environment.

Chiefly these efforts relate to a reduction in management costs by unifying enterprise solution sets. The answer to BYOD does not lie in simply allowing employees to choose their devices and then supporting each in their respective environments, but by implementing application control at an enterprise level and then applying these portals to a range of devices.

In this way IT technicians can reduce the cost typically associated with device control while empowering employees with the option to choose.

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