As consumerization continues its foray into the business world, organizations are increasingly moving away from the old standby tool for workplace productivity -- desktop computers -- and toward mobile device use for everyday employee activity.
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This new normal forces organizations to rethink how they approach data security and governance as a whole, said John Harris, former chief architect and vice president of global IT strategy at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. If businesses do not adapt to what Harris refers to as the "connectivity wave," they will be drowned by it, he said.
"I think we need to recognize that users are going to choose, more and more, how and when they work," Harris said during a 2012 SearchCompliance.com/SearchSecurity.com webcast on mobile strategy. "We have to think differently; we have to think about the user, and how we can help them be effective to do what they need to do in a way that is secure enough to meet the needs of our organizations."
Mobile security is made more complicated by the sheer number of choices that consumers have for both devices and applications, making it difficult to implement a one-size-fits-all approach to data protection. These complexities require employee education and guidance that clearly outline rules for employees doing work on their personal mobile devices, said Harris, who is now vice president of global enterprise architecture at Aimia, a retail loyalty management firm.
If done correctly, this blurring between the business and consumer world has its advantages, he added. Companies with a solid mobility strategy increase employee satisfaction, create a more productive environment and possibly even improve customer engagement.
"You see this overlap between consumer and work life ... more and more, people will choose to do work when it suits them, and they'll find tools to help them do it," Harris said. "I think we should be looking at this whole mobility and bring your own device (BYOD) journey as a huge opportunity."
In this video, learn more about mobility strategy best practices as Harris discusses how companies can improve business processes by proactively embracing consumerization -- rather than being intimidated by its security implications.