The Problem with Mobility, and Five Ways to Fix It

Can BYOD keep data safe and employees happy?

Smartphones and tablets make us more productive, socially active and, for citizens, more engaged in local government. The mobile evolution, unlike others before it, happened very quickly, leaving little time for end users and enterprises alike to react. Throw in other disruptive technologies like cloud computing, the Internet of Things and Big Data, and governments have offices full of distracted employees on their hands.

According to Jason Brown, a technical field mobility solutions architect with CDW, 92 percent of companies have reported “challenges and failures in their attempts to control and support personal devices.” The problem with unsecure devices accessing secure networks is the data flowing back and forth. In the wrong hands, government data can reveal enormous amounts of information about employees and citizens. Complicating the issue, end users expect access with their personal devices. In some cases, government employees have said they would actually pay money to have their personal device secured so they could use it at work.

Here are a few more revealing statistics from Brown’s post on CDW’s Solutions Blog:

  • 9 out of 10 ITers … expect to have major upgrade plans come down from management that will compete for an already strained budget cycle.
  • 86% of employees save data (or attempt to) down to their mobile devices into programs that are not managed by their company.
  • Only 76% of companies have developed some sort of policy and guidelines around mobility and less than that has shared that out to employees.
  • 36% haven’t thought about mobility guidelines at all … 36%!!!

So what’s next for IT departments now that mobility has arrived? Brown describes CDW’s “system of 5 pillars that will help you organize all these disruptions, employee/business demands, and nightmares that your IT staff has been dealing with.”

  1. (Planning) Developing a solid strategy and ongoing plan that will carry you along.
  2. (Enabling) Efficient provisioning and management of your systems
  3. (Protecting) Real-time strategy around MDM, monitoring and expense management
  4. (Supporting) Effective support solutions, administrative and management tools
  5. (Empowering) Development of an ecosystem that enables your business as well as its staff to become leaders themselves and accountable for their own practices.

How is your IT department dealing with mobility? Is BYOD the way to go for state and local governments? Let us know in the comments.

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Oct 29 2013