Securing enterprise mobility in the BYOD world

With the increasing proliferation of smartphones and enterprise tablet initiatives, the movement of Bring Your Own (BYO) continues to increase, making mobility a top priority among enterprises. It is undeniable that this movement is transforming the role of enterprise IT, and creating a new norm in the workplace.

With this shift, enterprises need a complete approach that supports these new devices, applications and data with appropriate security and policy controls, and at the same time adapt to the evolving role of enterprise IT while ensuring a seamless transition to the workplace of the future.

The evolving role of enterprise IT

Previously, the role of enterprise IT was focused on technical administration and ensuring that IT systems run reliably on a daily basis. Now however, IT has to take great leaps to move beyond the daily operation to creating greater strategic value for the entire organization, as the use of alternative work platforms such as mobile devices and tablets increases.

The workplace of the future will be characterized by the end-user taking center stage in the enterprise IT equation, as they will become increasingly dominant in deciding the type of work device, apps and where and how they will access the corporate data and network.

One tangible outcome of this changing dynamics is the creation, sharing, storing and access to corporate data based on tasks and working relationships. Work apps will move towards being on-demand, self-service and task specific, and as a result, redefine the desktop, which will soon be defined as a work session instead of a group of specific software.

As such, IT should adopt policies that exert a palpable effect on the end-user, supporting business objectives and ensuring they stay ahead of IT trends.

 Adopting a comprehensive mobility portfolio

The BYO trend has increased the number of access points for enterprise IT to secure, which can only be holistically managed with a mobility management portfolio that secures the device, app and data from a single point of control.

A comprehensive mobility portfolio is essential as it includes the full range of mobile solutions, ranging from device management to native mobile apps for e-mail, web access, collaboration and data sharing, as well as desktop virtualization for seamless access to Windows apps and desktops.

This enables enterprise IT to exert granular control in separating corporate data and apps from personal data and apps on mobile devices; integrate identity management and single sign-on; create policies that allow the differentiation of employees accessing corporate data from a trusted or untrusted network, and virtualizing applications and desktops to contain information within the data center.

Enabling a mobile workforce

Today, the average employee uses three devices a day to get work done, and on average, owns at least one of them. At the same time, there has been an explosion in the number and type of applications created for and used on these devices.

In a recent survey, Citrix found that most enterprises today support more than 200 applications in their increasingly diverse portfolios. In the near future, half of these are expected to be web, SaaS and mobile applications. In addition, most employees use personal cloud-sharing services to store files outside the corporate firewall.

Collectively, these trends have prompted IT departments to seek a way to support employees who choose where, when and how they want to work, while securing corporate data and protecting the network from mobile threats.