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Smartphones & ipads: Should it be allowed @ work?

 
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The explosion of consumer devices like smart-phones, tablets & other similar devices into enterprise computing is making IT security pros very nervous.

So, what do you think is the best way to deal with this situation?
Smartphones & ipads: Should it be allowed @ work?

Thanks

Ramy Stuart
IT Consultant, Allied Worldwide

 
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I'm not sure what rock you've been living under, but smartphones have been used heavily in businesses for well over a decade. Note that the explosion of affordable laptops made IT security pros very nervous too. Technology evolves and so do the ways of using it. I think the best way to deal with the situation is coming up with ways to use the new technology instead of reasons to ban it.

As for tablets, I'm not convinced that they're mature enough to be useful except in niche areas.

 
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Thanks for your comment. Narue!

I do know that smartphones are heavily used in enterprise computing but the question was more towards the explosion of consumer devices into enterprise setup. It becomes increasingly difficult for IT pros to support different type of mobile devices which comes with varied platforms. It can do more harm than good for the enterprise environment if appropriate measures are not taken care of.

As few companies are coming with "Bring your own device" policy to make sure that these consumer devices are scanned and monitored under corporate network. It would be great if you can comment on the ways to deal with it.

Thanks

Ramy Stuart

 
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It becomes increasingly difficult for IT pros to support different type of mobile devices which comes with varied platforms. It can do more harm than good for the enterprise environment if appropriate measures are not taken care of.

that's true I agree. We jus approved Iphone4 and waiting for approval on Android phones now. Because the constant updates and security patches and so on and so forth.
So it can be a hassle.

 
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I think this is alot more simple than it may seem on the surface.

I think the key is to standardize. Pick one type of phone and go with it. And dont allow people to use their personal cell phones for work purposes.

 
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a well developed corporate strategy will see specific devices approved for use by employees, and those specific devices supplied to employees.
It will NOT allow employees to connect just any old (or new) smartphone or whatever to corporate resources.

And it will certainly not jump on the iPhone upgrade bandwagon and replace a thousand perfectly good iPhone Mk.1s with Mk.2s, then Mk.3s and Mk.4s as soon as Apple releases a new model.
The company should approve a single model (or maybe 2 competing models to give employees a choice in case one of them doesn't match all requirements), and purchase enough of them to last the desired period until they're economically written down.
That might mean purchasing 1000 phones at once to hand out 500 to employees and have another 500 in spare for future expansion and replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged devices.
Employees who complain about not having the latest gadgets can go fchk themselves.

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