Consumerization of information technology in business is proving to be one of the most recent disruptive trends for chief financial officers and compliance officers. Industry analysts believe it has, in fact, crossed the chasm and the majority of enterprises in the United States now have some kind of "bring your own device" (BYOD) strategy--or problem.
The reason is simple: Companies see that investing in mobility has the potential to bring a return on investment to them. A device--such as a smartphone or tablet--for personal and corporate tasks allows employees to become increasingly mobile and productive.
Consumerization, however, is about more than employees using mobile devices to conduct business. According to Empowering the Mobile Workforce with a Secure Collaboration Solution, a report from International Data Group (IDC), it is about the usage of any and all consumer technologies in the enterprise, as well as the impact that those technologies have on current business practices.
Not only are employees using their personal devices for business, often they are using their personal apps (known as BYOA) for business as well.
To be productive, a knowledge worker needs to frequently share files and data with other employees, the company file server and their own mobile devices. But by doing so, the well-meaning employee also exposes the firm to myriad security risks that may conflict with government regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Patriot Act or the EU Data Protection Directive.
It may also put them at odds with industry-specific regulations, such as Payment Card Industry (PCI) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Use of personal devices isn't going anywhere but up and enterprises must continue to adhere to a constantly changing set of standards, laws and guidelines regarding data protection.
Fortunately, there are solutions available that allow employees to maintain their mobility and productivity without compromising corporate data or conflicting with regulations. The longer a company waits until implementing a BYOD policy, however, the longer it remains vulnerable to data leakage, malicious attacks and...