What is in your tech budget?
As leaders prepare for their next budget cycle this year, technology must be considered as part of the 2016 plan that could create all new markets, new channels, and vital future growth opportunities for the business.
Yet despite the seemingly endless flow of new applications, devices, and services, it's always important to sort the latest digital innovations into the strategic and tactical, into what is merely incremental, and the 'can't-miss'. From Workspot's vantage point, here are updates in 3 key areas that impact your organization both postitively and negatively.
1. Employee BYOD Privacy Concerns?
The Bring Your Own Device trend has left businesses struggling to manage the growing number of access points across their systems. A recent study found that 57 percent of employees and 38 percent of IT professionals don’t participate in their company’s BYOD program due to privacy concerns, that corporate leadership would have too much visibility into the end user’s personal data.
In designing BYOD program, it is vital that a “trust and verify” framework be put in place to ensure policies are effective, and that they include input from every business unit. If staff doesn’t feel a sense of ownership, they will continue to ignore the policy, according to Dominic Vogel, cybersecurity consultant and a former Information security analyst in the financial industry.
Effective policies need to be created as a group in order to gain a sense of ownership,” he said. “Make sure HR, finance, marketing, communications, executives, are all represented and come up with a realistic (not draconian) policy that mitigates risks while still enabling the business.” The revamped policies should then be clearly articulated to employees in non-technical terms, and understanding the terms of the policies should be contingent to being allowed to connect personal devices to the corporate network.
2. Is "managing" and "securing" mobile devices the same thing?
Having a mobile strategy isn't just for large enterprises. It should be seriously considered throughout all verticals -- no matter the size of the company. Most IT leaders built a mobile strategy based on managing and securing the device. Many use those terms interchangeably. However, "managing" and "securing" are orthogonal concepts.
Mobile strategy should be built on a foundation of security risk, not management. Here's a great blog on 5 ways to shore up your BYOD strategy. So, when evaluating technology to execute your mobile strategy, these are the features (at a minimum) that you might need:
- PIN enforcement. Also seen as a password to the system, admins can manage PINs to lock individual devices.
- Full disk encryption -- or containerized encryption -- of data or disks. An MDM product should be able to enforce encryption on any device it manages.
- Remote wipe. In case of loss or theft.
- Secures data at rest and in transit. Ability to stop certain data from being copied or sent while on the device.
- Jailbroken or rooted device detection. Jailbreaking poses a significant risk because it allows users to install unapproved software and make changes to the mobile device's operating system (OS).
There are additional MDM features (e.g., GPS tracking, VPN integration, certificate management, Wi-Fi policies, among others) that are useful, but not for all companies. At the very least, the five bullets above should be verified when looking at mobile technology products. Also verify that the selected mobile device management products support all the smartphone and tablet platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone and others) that the organization intends to manage and secure.
3. How to simplify VDI?
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a system where an central administrator can easily and securely deploy complete desktops from servers to your users.
In this technology, all the components of the desktop are virtualized, which allows for a highly flexible and much more secure desktop delivery model. In addition, this approach supports a more complete desktop disaster recovery strategy as all components are essentially saved in the data center and backed up through traditional redundant maintenance systems. If a user's device or hardware is lost, the restore is straightforward and simple, because the components will be present at login from another device. In addition, because no data is saved to the user's device, if that device is lost, there is much less chance that any critical data can be retrieved and compromised.
That's the theory. However, VDI was essentially designed in 2007-8 based on the available technology at the time, thus as with any 1.0 technology, it is very complex demanding dedicated resources to maintain.
So to simplify VDI, we need to reimagine VDI's underlying architecture. A key technology that will allow major improvements in this technology is called hyper-convergence. This refers to a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, and virtualization resources into a single box and negates the needs for complex storage infrastructure.
We follow these technologies for enterprise mobility closely and we certainly have a point of view on them. But we realize that each business has unique needs and workings. Let us know in the comments which of these are you using and how are you implementing it in your business! Look forward to hearing from you.
We did a deeper dive on VDI 1.0 - if you'd like more information on that, please follow the link below to download our free eBook on the subject.