Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) Spurs IT to “Bring Your Own Solution”September 18, 2013 No Comments
Featured Article By Dan Tully, Executive Vice President, Conduit Systems
Recent research shows 56 percent of information workers use devices that are unsupported by the network because their employer does not provide devices with similar capabilities – a fact that puts Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC) services like Dropbox, SkyDrive and Box into full perspective. Personal cloud services are convenient, inexpensive, and always available. They also have the potential to wreak havoc on the enterprise in ways we’ve never seen before. Simply stated? Houston, we have a problem.
The knee-jerk response of many IT managers is understandable. As individuals charged with the technical well-being of an organization, the mere thought of how employees can compromise proprietary data without second thought is quite unsettling; however, it’s our responsibility to recognize that if a digital technology exists on a consumer level, it will find its way into our offices regardless of whether or not has been officially sanctioned.
Instead of trying to turn back the clock or instituting a zero tolerance policy, consider these three solutions for managing BYOC within your hallowed halls:
Reminder of Accountability
Communication is key. Update written policies to ensure that employees understand protocols and how their actions can potentially compromise the security of data on-premise, off-premise and data in the cloud. Equally important, create a culture of accountability within the organization that will make enforcement of the policy that much easier.
Pony up for the Enterprise Version
Many consumer cloud services, including Evernote and Dropbox, offer enterprise versions. These official versions help remove the dangers of BYOC by removing the risk of losing valuable data to bitter ex-employees and individuals who fancy themselves gatekeepers. In short, they enable IT departments to centrally manage employee accounts. They also erase the uncertainty of who actually “owns” said documents, since this issue is not always so cut-and-dry when it comes to the free versions.
The Best of Both Worlds
Hybrid BYOC solutions offer secure personal cloud services that mimic the unique usability of services such as Dropbox, all while hosted on the corporate network. VMware’s Octopus and Google Drive are two such options. This approach recognizes the constantly changing manner in which the enterprise is communicating and empowers users to securely access their files 24/7.
In an era where IT is no longer business-driven but user-driven, IT managers must ultimately adopt a policy of treating the problem as opposed to the symptoms. This has never been truer than in the age of “user-centricity.” By taking this approach, forward-thinking organizations will no doubt achieve differentiation and fare better than the competition while at the same time ensure the safety of proprietary data.
Dan Tully is executive vice president of Conduit Systems, an IT management services firm headquartered in Lincoln, Rhode Island. For over two decades, Conduit Systems has delivered complete and cost-effective information technology support and services that enable small and mid-sized companies to focus on doing what they do best – making their businesses thrive. Tully brings more than 20 years of computing experience to his customer base and has assisted some of New England’s largest companies address complex, technology-based issues. To reach him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.APPLICATION INTEGRATION, CLOUD DATA, DATA SECURITY, Fresh Ink, MOBILE DATA