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Are You Seeking to Improve Mobility and Enable BYOD? – Part 1: Getting Started

October 10, 2015 / Evolve IP

It Starts with a Problem

Any technology project usually starts with a problem. Whether it is a CEO wanting to use her Mac while the company issues Windows laptops, or a company-issued device walking off with a former salesperson, organizations are constantly reassessing their end-user device strategy. As a result, BYOD and Mobility have become the buzz words of the year. Ready to consider a BYOD strategy? Being forced to create one for a handful of users? What do you need to know? Read on.

BYOD does not mean lack of control or security

One of the main reasons IT directors are hesitant to roll out BYOD policies is a perceived of lack of control. If workers bring their own devices to work, what stops them from taking confidential company information with them if they leave?

The reality is that the technologies built to enable BYOD actually help organizations protect their data. Using a virtual desktop allows workers to bring their own devices to work, while keeping their work and access to company files in that virtual desktop under company control. When an employee leaves, you can simply disable the virtual desktop and the risk of data leakage is mitigated.

In many cases, we’re afraid of allowing end-users to bring their own laptop but we’re happy to allow our end-users to access their company email on their shiny new (and personally owned) Apple or Android device. Smart strategies around mobile device management (MDM) can help you secure, configure, locate or even erase unrecoverable devices. 

Tools of the Trade: Products that Enable Mobility and BYOD

So where do you start? Consider these enabling technologies and how they may fit into your business.

  • Virtual Desktops / Desktop as a Service (DaaS): Virtual desktops provide a portable work environment that is independent of the local machine. Access to work applications, and mitigation of issues occur in the company provided desktop image. In many cases, mitigation takes the form of simply issuing a new virtual image. So – work anywhere (mobility) on any device (BYOD).
  • RMM: Remote Monitoring & Management provides the ability to manage various physical and virtual machines from a centralized location. So, bring whatever device you want but install the RMM agent to your machine, which allows administrators to monitor and manage it. RMM is a self-managed, cloud-based platform that provides IT departments with point and click monitoring; centralized management and performance reporting of desktop and server assets (physical and virtual), mobile devices and network equipment (switches, routers, firewalls, printers); patch management; and remote control in a single pane of glass regardless of the location and type of end-user environment.
  • MDM: Mobile Device Management is often times a feature of a good RMM platform or can be purchased independently. Also agent based, MDM enables standardized security rules, software distribution, remote delete and device location. Get a hold of those pesky mobile devices!

Unified Communications: UC applications that are location independent enable mobility in several ways. Link your cell phone to your office phone, and transfer calls seamlessly between them (all while maintaining the office phone number). Mobile and desktop applications enable users to see their co-workers’ presence status (available, on a call, in a meeting, etc.), and if they are available, can chat with them via instant message (IM) from the UC app. All of these features are available to end users regardless of location or device.

If you’re interested in improving your organization’s Mobility and BYOD status, check out our recent Mobility and BYOD survey paper.

Categories: Cloud Computing Unified Communications
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