The Post-Holiday BYOD Party Could Cause an IT Cliff – So be Ready!

Next week, as the record numbers of iPads purchased this holiday season are finally unwrapped, millions will be pondering the countless ways to use their shiny new devices. They may pause to think about the iPad’s workplace advantages, but IT managers have already been thinking about (and fretting over) the huge flood of personal devices logging onto corporate networks and accessing sensitive company data on January 2nd. The prospect of a “BYOD IT Cliff” has never been greater.

BYOD (bring-your-own-device) is an affordable, personalized and accessible way to work – plus, it provides a way around pesky, time consuming IT approvals. That’s why 81 percent of employees already use their own devices for work, and it will only become more frequent as advanced devices like tablets become commonplace. However, the BYOD trend also presents a wide range of security and business continuity challenges because company data is being accessed and exchanged outside the traditional enterprise network. The potential for data loss, security breaches and business continuity disruption is very real.

Despite IT’s worst fears, the risks of BYOD can be averted if enterprises prepare, plan and adapt. The traditional roles of IT in the enterprise, including data accessibility and availability, business continuity planning and security, will continue to run smoothly once organizations integrate personal device use, rather than fight against it. Careful device configuration and monitoring policies, as well as simple file access and security solutions, can make personal device use in the enterprise secure and even seamless with traditional IT.

BYOD-ready data solutions, including those for secure file sharing, synching and Mac compatibility, help ensure the necessary levels of data access, availability and protection for today’s enterprise operating in the world of Big Data and the cloud. In fact, with the right BYOD preparation, enterprises have a unique opportunity to create a more cost efficient, connected, data-driven workplace. So, rather than experiencing a “nightmare before Christmas,” IT should sleep soundly and know that the post-Holiday BYOD party doesn’t need to lead to an IT cliff. From here on out, it’s visions of sugarplum fairies.