BYOD hits the big time

Applied Research’s recent survey, The State of Mobility Survey 2012, sponsored by Symantec, concludes that mobile applications and use of mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, to access corporate applications has exploded in recent months and that the BYOD (Bring your own Device) trend seems to have reached a tipping point in adoption by public and private sector organizations.

According to the State of Mobility survey, 71% of companies are considering the development of custom line-of-business applications for mobile devices. This will lead to an explosion in mobile development capabilities that will be undertaken largely by external development partners, but also by internal IT departments.

Observers of standard industry adoption curves will be interested to note how enterprise mobility application use has progressed from accessing corporate email to accessing business critical content and systems, like CRM systems, BI and reporting dashboards and enterprise content management and collaboration solutions, like Microsoft SharePoint.

In the last year the level of smartphone and tablet ownership has sky-rocketed, and with it the trend towards the consumerisation of IT. This poses significant challenges for corporate IT departments who are struggling to keep up with the number of new devices and formats that are coming on to the market. With the consumerisation of IT comes an expectation from corporate users – often led by senior executives – to be able to use their private smartphones or tablet devices to access corporate systems and content.

A survey covering 17 countries by business technology company Avanade found that 88% of executives said employees were using their own personal computing technologies for business purposes.

IT departments are being hit by a perfect storm – an explosion of new hardware devices and the growth of the BYOD (Bring your own Device) policy. Many IT departments have embraced BYOD, but many are yet to create formal strategies and plans around how to support private mobile and computing devices in the workplace.

The biggest barrier to BYOD being adopted is obviously security. Some mobile enterprise applications store personal credentials and corporate data & content on the device. What happens if the device is stolen or misplaced? There are many remote mobile device management solutions out there and you should consider evaluating these as a matter of course, but we at Azurati can’t help but think that for enterprise mobile applications to be truly secure, they should avoid having any sensitive data or content stored on the device.

Here is what we think you should be aiming for to support your BYOD policy:

  • Secure mobile VPN
  • Zero footprint on mobile device
  • Encrypted authentication
  • Encrypted data/content, if it must be stored on the device (for offline use, for example)

Azurati‘s Mobile Application Development platform and its SharePoint2Go solution, use these security features as standard.

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