The push into new technological areas can be difficult for companies to manage. The modern tech environment is complicated and multifaceted, meaning IT leaders may have a hard time keeping up with calls for mobility, the cloud and the numerous smaller focus areas based on those larger trends. The recent Network World "State of the Network" survey reflected this uneasy balance. Network World's John Dix explained that companies are slowly building their IT power, but lacking regulation for important programs like bring your own device (BYOD).
Dix singled out BYOD as one area where companies are constantly in danger due to a lack of preparation. This could be because firms are used to adding new programs gradually, while BYOD arrived on the scene suddenly and has been taking the IT world by storm. Employees, rather than relying on the corporate office for tablets and smartphones, have begun to ask for BYOD access on their own hardware. While this could be an agility booster, it could also spell trouble if executed without a plan.
According to Dix, only 16 percent of survey respondents had any type of BYOD policy in place. Launching a plan with no codified rules could be dangerous. While it is true that employees are highly interested in solutions suited to their personal devices and eager to log on to the network from anywhere, granting these privileges hastily could lead to organizational and security confusion.
Once companies have policies in place to direct remote access plans, they can use them to enable exciting new business strategies. For example, workers are largely moving toward a work-from-home model. The U.S. Census Bureau found a marked increase in workers staying home in 2010 compared to a decade earlier, with those operating remotely earning a higher average salary. Adding personal phones, tablets and computers to the business network could help this trend take root.
Companies with a high percentage of home workers could benefit from a general clientless access system. Home workers will likely have different computers and tablets from various manufacturers in addition to their now-ubiquitous smartphones. Plans that feature a variety of devices can welcome new hires without the need to supply a corporate computer for each. An employee with his or her own mobile devices also gains the benefit of familiarity with the hardware and software, another possible boon to productivity.