The advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) was a revolution in the way that employees access corporate resources on their smartphones and tablets and, although initially resisted by IT departments, most organizations now allow employees to use their own smart devices for work. However, for most users, smartphones/tablets are purely consumption devices. For real work, users revert to using their PCs, and in most organizations they will need to use Windows.
With the mindset shift within the user base, employees are now demanding to use the PC of their choice, often a Mac, leading to the next wave of BYOD, Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC) which is explored in 1E’s e-book, “Mobilizing Your Workforce – Bring your own PC (BYOPC) without the Risks.” However, organizations are even more resistant to users working from and connecting company networks and resources from users’ own computers than they were about allowing personal mobile phone access to corporate resources. IT efficiency and security remain the main objectives in implementing a BYOPC policy.
Guest article by Simon Rust, Director, Product Management at 1E
According to recent research from the Aberdeen Group, one of the main reasons for this mobility trend is to enable workforce productivity. Employees who are able to be connected anytime, from any location, are able to deal with and resolve critical business problems more quickly. Additionally, 45 percent of organizations attributed their number one reported pressure around mobility to the demand to leverage mobility’s productivity gains.
Company Make-Up and BYOPC
Many organizations allow smartphones in the workplace for email use, but often these companies are reluctant to offer up priority and company-specific applications to unsecure sources. As a result, employees are finding creative loopholes to access work files, emails and applications from personal PCs. Dropbox, flash drives and even unsecure emails are methods of accessing corporate data on outside machines. These delivery methods cannot guarantee security and more importantly allow employees to harbor data beyond their employment dates, as employees own their own Dropbox, thumb drive and personal email accounts. That’s why it is critical to assess the need to enforce a BYOPC strategy. Some questions to ask are:
- What does your workforce makeup look like?
- What percentage of workers are contractors/consultants with finite employment?
- How many workers are mobile?
- What percentage of workers have access to sensitive data like employee benefits, sales projections, corporate budgets, proprietary client information, HIPPA or SEC information?
Now that you have determined what percentage of your workforce is eligible for BYOPC, it’s important to set priorities for those in dire need. Contractors and consultants should be at the top of any BYPOC list as these workers generally pose their own challenges to every IT department. As more organizations look to save costs by hiring temporary workers and consultants, a key benefit is that many of these contractors/consultants have their own laptops and prefer to use them as they may have other clients or projects they engage in on a daily basis. So, if an enterprise can deliver the same secured operating environment to a contractor but without the hardware requirements, would this be a good thing? IT departments must weigh the following considerations before implementing a policy:
- Contractors need full access to corporate systems so they can carry out all work
- Contractors cannot remove any corporate IP from the systems, just as they can’t via a managed corporate laptop
- Consultants generally use their own laptop hardware to access the operating environment
- The operating environment is fully encrypted on the contractor laptop to prevent prying eyes from gaining access to any corporate IP
- The contractor can continue to work even while offline
- The operating environment can be wiped out remotely from the confines of the IT department, leaving nothing behind on the consultant/contractor’s laptop
Now you have a roadmap to establishing a BYOPC policy. Even if your company is not immediately prepared to adopt BYOPC, you have the tools to successfully pinpoint resources, identify early BYOPC adopters, contractors, mobile workers and consultants, as well as assess the technology needed to seamlessly implement the program. You are on your way to developing a “best practice” BYOPC policy and becoming a champion in your organization.
Read the Aberdeen report Enterprise Mobility Management: Changing it Up With CYOD
Simon Rust has been a member of the Product Management group within 1E since 2013, where he drives the direction, roadmap and launch activities for the MyWorkNow product line for the business. Simon is widely acknowledged as a desktop virtualization and end user computing knowledge expert having previously chaired the Office of the CTO and led Product Management and Strategy for over 10 years at the world leading user virtualization vendor, AppSense.