Tablets aren’t overtaking smartphones or PCs in the enterprise, but they’re definitely carving a new business niche for themselves a survey conducted by cloud content management firm Alfresco shows. According to the data cited by GigaOM, tablets have replaced the PC as the go-to work station for working at home and on the road.
The Alfresco study found that staff are using tablets:
- 48% of enterprise employees are using tablets after hours at home,
- 55% of respondents use tablets at business meetings (vs. 24% using PCs),
- 50% are turning first to slates at conferences, compared to 13% using their laptops.
Alfresco reported that employees prefer the smartphone at more informal business functions
- 57% using them at business lunches and
- 51% using them in coffee shops.
But the tablet is also starting to become commonplace even in those more casual settings: 34 percent of respondents said they would haul out their slate at lunch meeting, while 43 percent would do the same in a coffee shop.
The Alfresco data indicates that the 3-screen reality is coming true. Tablets aren’t replacing either smartphones or laptops, but are instead creating a new space in-between. The vendor says it’s pretty clear that laptops are increasingly tethered to the desk or cube, while tablets are the tool of choice on the go.
RB- This has huge implications on the support side of the equations
- U.S. Tablet Ownership Doubled this Year (cio-today.com)
Enterprise information security hasn’t caught up with the consumerization of IT according to Lenny Zeltser in a recent article on the Lenny Zeltser on Information Security blog. The author states that the urgency with which organizations need to account for consumerization is driven by modern mobile devices such as Apple iPhones and iPads.
Enterprises are coming to terms with the idea of employees connecting to the corporate network over a VPN from personal laptops and home workstations according to the article. However, most organizations haven’t looked at the effect that the proliferation of powerful mobile devices has on the enterprise security architecture.
Mobile devices sometimes have VPN-like access to the corporate network and in most cases have access to the company’s email contents, calendar and address book. The devices are as powerful as laptops were just a few years ago. Yet, their operating system’s security has not benefited from the test of time, and lacks most of the security controls we’d expect to find in a “legacy” workstation OS.
Mr. Zeltser argues we need to understand how to model the threat vectors related to mobile devices and how to adjust the security of the enterprise architecture accordingly. The measures will probably involve:
- Greater segmentation of the company’s network,
- Treating any device that users interact with, whether it’s a desktop or a mobile phone, as an untrusted node,
- Standards and tools to lock down the configuration of mobile devices,
- Practices and technologies for managing vulnerabilities in applications and the OS of mobile devices,
- Incident response plans that incorporate both “legacy” IT infrastructure assets and mobile devices.
- 10 steps for writing a secure BYOD policy (zdnet.com)
Silicon.com had an article describing Three ways business are getting BYOD all wrong. The author claims the days of the standard work-issue laptop are numbered as businesses let staff use their own computers and gadgets in the workplace.
However, in the rush to adopt bring-your-own tech, businesses are placing too many restrictions on how personal devices can be used at work according to Anthony Vigneron, collaboration services global manager at global law firm Clifford Chance. He estimates that about 10 per cent of firms’ 7,000 staff share the same device at home and work.
Mr. Vigneron described for silicon.com three ways businesses get it wrong when it comes to letting staff use personal devices at work.
1. Businesses are often advised to provide personal devices with secure access to corporate systems using sand-boxed virtual machines. These sand-boxed machines allow remote access to corporate apps and data via a virtual desktop that is run from the business’ data center.
Much better, he argues, to let users access corporate data and apps from their device’s own OS. “Trying to deliver applications within some kind of sandbox is not what users want. That’s not consumerization, that’s just another way of providing the same apps on different hardware,” he said.
“People want to use the native applications. They don’t want to have to log in through some other system.” He concludes “The business should be able to control some of the applications staff use but you don’t want all those things inside another application.”
2. Mr. Vigneron argues that the line were work life ends and private life begins is becoming increasingly blurred. So it doesn’t make sense to treat them as two separate entities. By not allowing workers to merge their work and home calendars, contacts and emails, businesses are imposing an artificial distinction on their staff, he said. “You do want some separation … People want the choice of being able to work with the same interface.”
3. Letting staff use their personal smartphone while working may seem like a good idea but they might be in for an unpleasant shock when they get their phone bill. Mr. Vigneron said “For companies to allow for consumerization, the price has to get to an equivalent of what we can get as a corporate. They’re not doing that at the moment.”