Established BYOD management policies needed

By Lilia Guan
The multibillion dollar question for Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) organisations is how decision makers will tackle the consumerisation of information technology.
As many are struggling to manage the proliferation of consumer devices invading the enterprise workspace, the implementation of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies is being viewed as one answer.
A recent report by analyst firm, IDC – Analysing the Bring-Your-Own-Device Trends in Australia and New Zealand shows an increasing number of decision makers are feeling the pressure to transform and conform to the top-down push by executives and bottom up demand from the general employees to support consumer technologies such as media tablets and smartphones.
IDC A/NZ’s market analyst, infrastructure – Amy Cheah said one in every two organisations are intending to deploy official BYOD policies, be it pilots, or partial- to organisational-wide rollouts, in the next 18 months.
Ms Cheah told Government News all decisions makers' pain points are the same – cost, security and satisfying employee's demand.
“The key is to ensure public sector employers and supply-side partners understand their industry or business specific challenges and verticalise BYOD policies,” she said.
“Instead of taking the blanket approach and jumping on the BYOD bandwagon without proper assessment of their organisational needs and challenges,” she said.
Ms Cheah said there are numerous elements that needs to be carefully assessed before deploying an official BYOD policy such as; device procurement; operational cost in device management and support; back end infrastructure capability; software licensing and upgrades; product lifecycle management; network bandwidth and connectivity; application accessibility; funding support; legal ownership and accountability of the device; application and data etc.
“It is crucial to address the people element to this strategy,” she said.
“The lack of clear understanding of their employees' expectations will pose greater risk than benefit should a BYOD policy be deployed.
“The challenge is establishing policies that are flexible and holistic enough which enables choice rather than prescribing 'must-dos' to all employees across the organisation.”
According to Ms Cheah BYOD policies are more of a management conversation than a technology conversation and public sector employers will be looking externally for advice, from consulting firms and systems integrators.

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