Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) adoption has emerged as one of the biggest trends in technology during the past year, and many analysts see 2013 as the tipping point year in which such policies go mainstream. A recent study by Samsung and IDG Research Services found that 85 percent of companies support BYOD and that more than 70 percent of IT executives believe businesses without a BYOD policy will be at a competitive disadvantage. The main concern continuing to limit BYOD adoption is security. As companies consider making a BYOD migration, cloud solutions are likely to play a major role in handling the challenge of data protection, according to industry analysts.
According to the Samsung/IDG study, 84 percent of IT executives and 74 percent of employees identified device security as the most important factor determining BYOD adoption. Despite these concerns,only 25 to 30 percent of companies have policies to manage those devices and protect data, Tim Wagner, Samsung’s general manager for enterprise sales and marketing,said in a recent Consumer Electronics Show panel, FierceMobileIT reported. Other experts in the panel noted that BYOD management is shifting from attempting to control endpoint devices and will increasingly be handled at the application level.
“You need to focus on your own data first,” said John Herrema, senior vice president at mobile device management company Good Technology, according to FierceMobileIT. “If you [have] control over your own data and applications, you don’t have to do as much blocking.”
The security benefit of the cloud
To achieve this kind of oversight, companies may increasingly find the best approach is to adopt a cloud computing solution. By using managed IT services to store data and run applications, organizations can prevent data loss in the event a user’s device is lost, broken or stolen. Furthermore, the cloud provides more flexible functionality than many mobile device management (MDM) applications, something that users have already discovered.In fact, many employees are currently working around existing MDM solutions, Forrester Research vice president Ted Schadler told Network World.
“There’s going to be a big requirement to re-think the architecture,” he explained. “This is why the MDM thing is a stopgap, really … Nobody worries about security at Salesforce.com. So if I can rely on that service provider to protect my data, then I don’t need to put a ‘kludge’ [stopgap] in place.”
As such practices become common, organizations can respond to employee demand by adopting cloud storage solutions that facilitate data protection and BYOD management.