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HCL Technologies

'BYOD Will Be An Indispensable Requirement By Clients, Customers'

Published Date: 
Jun 14, 2013
Business World

As a recent study by Gartner on BYOD trends among organisations predicted, by 2017 half of employers across the globe will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes. The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs. However, CIOs in many companies have raised security concerns over corporate data. Kalyan Kumar B, VP & Chief Technology Architect, HCL Technologies ISD, talked to Businessworld Online's Poonam Kumar on the new set of challenges faced by CIOs in the age of workforce mobility and mobile device management and how HCL helps CIOs battle the growing challenge.

Why do we need BYOD? What are the pros and cons of BYOD in the industry? Do you have any figure of how many employers have been using this technology in India?
BYOD – “Bring Your Own Device” – is the latest trending and vital technology that has captured the attention of consumers and IT organisations equally. An individual today is addicted to his/her device(s) , as he/ she works seamlessly with a range of devices including smart phones, tablets, notebooks and laptops at the workplace for use and connectivity on the corporate network.

The adoption of this concept has a lot of convenience factors attached to it such as the fact that it is a great management (especially from HR perspective) tool which aids in bringing new human resources on-board at the same time impacting the retention of employees on the better side because it gives more freedom and autonomy to the users. Another key element involved here is the mobility of the workforce that is using these devices which allows an organization to reach out to its employees 24X7 thereby increasing the scope of flexibility of work, enhancing employee productivity as employees are able to respond to work requests outside of work hours that has a direct impact on operational efficiency.

However, the concerns regarding BYOD are inevitable solely due to the scope of this rapidly evolving technology concept and security.

What are the main concerns of CIOs in setting up BYOD? Does it involve an extra cost to the company? 
One of the biggest challenges that CIOs face today when it comes to BYOD is the industry consensus of defining the scope of BYOD, as organisations today are not limiting the scope to only considering mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets, phablets etc. which was the inception point of BYOD but also allowing users to choose their own laptops. Another key concern that needs the CIO’s attention is the level of security of corporate data that is being used on personal devices, having a security policy framework in place that can allow an organisation to monitor the exchange of sensitive corporate data taking place between various users, keeping a tab on the IP addresses, browsing information etc. are issues that need to be looked into specifically while setting up a BYOD framework.

In the years to come, BYOD will not be an option but an indispensable requirement by clients and customers for which almost every CIO will have a BYOD offering to be implemented as majority of CIOs in US and Europe are already implementing or evaluating to implement right now.  

From a cost perspective, we can confidently say that HCL has already worked with large and SMB customers in implementing BYOD very successfully because our customers took consumerisation of IT as a win-win opportunity to optimise their IT costs and enhancing user satisfaction while from users perspective they felt it as freedom and flexibility of IT along with ownership passed to the users for various components which were earlier supported by IT. Having said that, there are also factors such as the receipt of stipend that some users expect in lieu of bringing their own devices to work while implementing a BYOD policy. Therefore, the company’s management needs to be cognizant of this fact while putting in the efforts of planning such an initiative.

What is HCL's role in implementing BYOD? Can you name a few companies which have already started it?
When it comes to implementing a BYOD environment, there are mainly two types of solutions that support its implementation. One which simply allows users to access business and productivity applications via MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions which includes Mobile Application and content management directly through user’s mobile devices. The other solution is primarily based on server-based Computing like VDI integration with right authentication and authorisation mechanisms along with necessary appropriate network access controls to check the health of personal devices before they even access the server based environment, making the access to IT completely isolated and secured from the device itself hence making the need of controls on personal devices irrelevant.

At HCL Technologies, we have witnessed significant maturity on both types of solutions as implementations globally suggest that the use of personal devices is not a concern anymore as long as the right solutions and policies are in place.

Why is Mobile device management's (MDM's) importance growing? If we have our system connected to the phone, how can we save our mobile devices from malware activities?
MDM enables the bridging of consumer mobile IT to the enterprise policies and systems for a secure consistent access of application and services. MDM also enables content   policies and secure zone in a mobile device which interacts with the enterprise systems and ensures that malware is not entering corp systems. Also MDM combined with an IAM (identity and access mgmt) platform enables that vision of true secure enterprise mobility and DLP."

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