The Headaches Inherent in the ‘Consumerisation of IT’

By Michael Harman

As summer break ended for Australian employees, new issues emerged for IT professionals.

While holiday gifts previously stayed at home, now millions bring their Kindle Fires, Galaxy 2s, iPhone 4Ss or the newest Windows 7 phones into the office. About mid-January, many IT departments found themselves responding to requests from eager employees to the tune of “I’d like my work email on my iPad, please.”

The “Consumerisation of IT” has exploded. While new mobility offers huge opportunities for today’s employees and businesses, it’s created some serious IT headaches.

With quick access to email and work documents that can be used practically anywhere, smartphones can be susceptible to breaches and quick downloading of personal data.

Also, the explosion of mobile devices has led to a proliferation of several popular operating systems. iOS, Android, Windows, Symbian and Blackberry are all widely used and IT departments need a functional knowledge of all of them and how to work them into the enterprise.

The loss of control is worrying to IT departments. With mobility, it seems you can no longer specify when files can be retrieved, turn off access, and wipe phones when they’re misplaced. It seems you can no longer become fantastically literate on a specific piece of hardware or operating system.

Fortunately, there are a wide variety of solutions available to help manage the additional risks that come with the increasing number of new devices.

Mobile device management (MDM) software helps companies monitor, manage and secure mobile devices within one network, reducing support costs and limiting risk. Endpoint security solutions specifically secure devices against malware, intrusion and data loss, both on and off the company network. Updated remote management and data wipe software can lock access to specific data or remove it completely in case of a lost or stolen personal device.

Mobile devices will continue to advance, and so will the technology IT departments use to manage them.

As IT professionals, we’re in the business of enabling increased innovation and productivity to the business, and mobile devices help us help the workforce do just that. It’s up to us to adapt and address this lack of control – these new IT headaches – so users have access while the business is secure.

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About Michael Harman

Michael Harman is the Director of Datacom Systems, New South Wales, responsible for the overall strategy and leadership of the company. With an ICT career extending over 24 years, Michael has experience leading the engagement of large, complex IT projects that span multiple geographies. Michael is passionate about all things technology, keeping his pulse on emerging trends in order to solve the unique business challenges of NSW businesses through leading innovation.

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