affini Technology has warned that IT departments are at risk of failing to achieve the benefits of BYOD in multi-tenancy environments, because of a lack of understanding as to how to address the complexities of estate management and access to applications and data.
Jason Colombo, CEO at affini comments: "The feedback that we get from CTOs and IT Managers is that the requirement to enable personal devices to access business data and applications, is placing increasing pressure on IT departments that are already struggling to keep abreast of what their device estate is comprised of, and who needs access to what."
affini claims that an increasing number of clients are seeking guidance on how to realise the benefits of BYOD, namely increased productivity, lower cap-ex on hardware and better access to systems and software, while combatting security risk, data protection and support. However, organisations find it difficult enough to realise these benefits in single tenancy/host environments - add in multi-tenancy and the challenges of successfully and effectively adopting a BYOD strategy are exponentially harder.
Colombo added, "We know that developing BYOD strategies for multi-tenancy environments presents complex challenges to efficiently and securely enable multiple groups of users, devices and systems, to gain access to common applications over common networks. Businesses must first take time to follow a framework approach that assesses not only what the BYOD strategy will achieve but also the cost and impact.
"There are some wins when it comes to integrating non-corporate devices in the workplace, but defining policies and rolling out the capability is complicated. CTOs and CFOs must have an open conversation and weigh up the cost benefits against the resource requirements from IT. It sounds simple, like it's a 'win-win', but the reality is that it's not that straightforward."
A recent study conducted by Gartner identified that CIOs estimate that 25% of IT budgets are currently controlled outside the IT department and that this will rise to 40% by 2015. This is effectively where BYOD fits in, but also where cloud and SaaS play.
affini believes that the loss of central controls in sourcing end user equipment could put businesses at risk and IT departments under further pressure to ensure interoperability, business continuity and the safeguarding of data. Scenario testing and evaluation become additional exponential issues, because organisations are often unaware of what device types they will end up supporting across infrastructure and applications. To think that a web-browser is a common standard is just not true.
affini asserts that now is the time for organisations to scope out what is to be achieved and supported as part of a BYOD strategy. Not doing so will risk users circumventing the IT function completely to develop their own disparate, and potentially unsecure solutions. The reverse of BYOD can occur with BYOA, or bring your own applications being called in, where people move to externally hosted cloud based solutions to get around the corporate issues.
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