Yesterday there was an article in the Australian about Suncorp allowing staff to BYO their own computers and tablets. This isn’t an anomaly – it’s part of a growing trend within corporate IT. There is more focus on end user experience and less on rigid control.

Enterprise IT is being consumerised. Executives are buying iPads and
insisting that they be able to use them on the corporate network.
Marketing people require access to Twitter and Facebook. Training is
being delivered via web-based flash video. Web-based software is being
used for critical line of business applications. If a user can’t access
YouTube on the corporate network, they will fire it up on their iPhone
over 3G.

This is a reversal from the traditional model where IT mandated the
devices, their configuration and the applications. Now, a new model is
emerging where the requirements are being defined by the business, and
IT is being asked to support them. IT are being asked to adapt to
changing business needs.

This introduces a number of challenges for IT. For example:

  • How can we protect corporate data from data loss, theft or espionage in an uncontrolled environment?
  • How can information archiving/compliance mandates continue to be met when the application isn’t hosted internally?
  • How can the corporate network continue to be protected from malware when the endpoint isn’t controlled?
  • How do you ensure uptime of critical applications when the applications are hosted externally?
  • How are IT going to support a diverse range of devices?

These are emerging challenges that companies will continue to face in
increasing number.
Over the next few weeks, we will be writing some blog
posts to help answer some of the above questions and suggest strategies
that may help.