Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) seems an inescapable reality at this point for most enterprises, but that doesn't mean there isn't still work to be done by the IT department to make it a manageable scenario. Here are ten rapid-fire strategies to adopt to make BYOD more workable in your environment.
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This list comes from a presentation by analyst Marcus Blosch at the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit, which I'm covering as part of our ongoing World Of Servers series. Understandably the focus was on how enterprise architects can influence BYOD strategy, but most of these tips are equally applicable to network managers and other IT pros. As Blosch pointed out: "The idea that the IT organisation can control people and their behaviour has become very quickly a thing of the past."
- Mandate data formats, not tools People can edit documents however they like, but you need rules around which formats that can use.
- Maximise freedom of choice A BYOD policy that only allows one style of device will still be avoided.
- Move data into the cloud Accessing data online eliminates format worries.
- License individuals, not devices If someone wants to change phones every three months, that's their problem.
- Authenticate people and applications Devices can swap between multiple individuals, so you need to authenticate both.
- Embrace open standards Closed data formats are harder to share across multiple platforms.
- Manage information, not applications Data is where the real business value is.
- Ensured data is encrypted whenever possible Security on mobile devices is tricky, but this helps.
- Don't try to control what you don't own.
- Be 'can do', not 'can't do' That's always a good rule for IT.
Lifehacker's World Of Servers sees me travelling to conferences around Australia and around the globe in search of fresh insights into how server and infrastructure deployment is changing in the cloud era. This week, I'm in London for the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit, looking at how to plan and deploy your overall enterprise architecture for maximum business value and efficiency.