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IT managers 'need to control personal devices'
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IT managers need to control the use of personal devices in the workplace if they are to maximise employee productivity without compromising security.
Writing for BCS, The Chartered Institute of IT, Bob Janssen noted that employees are growing more comfortable working from their own devices.
As such, they are eager to utilise personal laptops, smartphones and tablets at work rather than unfamiliar company issues.
In his view, IT managers have to get a handle on these new devices entering the workplace, so they can take a lead on what is possible rather than fighting "a losing battle" around device regulation.
Mr Janssen, co-founder and chief technology officer at RES Software, said it is important to support users in being more productive and flexible.
"The first step for assessing how to support users on their own devices is to understand the roles that users have," he told the BCS blog.
"Does it make sense for this group of users to have access to applications while they are mobile? Based on this information, IT can establish a set of flexible business rules governing which employees should be using which applications on which devices."
Mr Janssen said this involves creating a strategy and standards for providing access that will adapt to the changing needs of users.
But at the same time, the department must still retain control over corporate IT services.
"This means looking at users based on their context: where they are, what device they are using and how much access they should be given at any point, rather than strictly on their identities," the expert claimed.
"The end result should be to provide a secure workspace that enables users to be as productive as possible, without squeezing out the efficiencies being delivered by IT."
He said that as 'bring your own device' programmes become more popular with both employees and companies, IT will be forced to move away from the current device-centric approach to desktop management.
"Instead, they will need to manage IT at the user level," Mr Janssen added.
"As an example, a user may be on a laptop during the day while also relying on a tablet or smartphone outside the office, switching between devices when it is required for their job role."
Posted by Jon Aspinell
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