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As BYOD explodes, IT managers learn to cope

Beth Stackpole | April 24, 2013
Five tech departments share strategies for coping with BYOD.

" How it's coping: Booz Allen put corporate policies in place and then deployed an MDM system, according to CIO Kevin Winter, who declined to name the MDM platform.

Corporate policy now requires mobile users to have encryption and password protection on their devices -- and the MDM system automatically enforces those policies. "As soon as the user registers with the MDM, it checks to see if the device is compliant with our security controls," Winter says.

The biggest pain point now involves users' lingering concerns about privacy, he says. "Users are concerned that if they take their personal device and connect to the corporate network, the business can see their personal data, listen in on conversations with loved ones or see pictures of their kids," Winter says.

We want to keep [employee] privacy intact while still providing flexibility.

Kevin Winter, CIO, Booz Allen Hamilton

In particular, users are uneasy about the requirement that they must agree to have their devices wiped if they're lost or otherwise compromised. But Winter points out that the MDM system allows IT to selectively wipe devices so only corporate data and apps are erased. "Our message is we are not interested in acquiring or looking at your data," he says. "We want to keep your privacy intact while still providing flexibility."

" What's on the horizon: Expanding the MDM program with an app store is next on the docket, as is adopting additional encryption and security measures that will be critical as Booz Allen broadens its mobile app portfolio beyond email and calendaring to include HR-related tools, time capture functionality and apps that help track travel expenses. "We're trying to be as accommodating as we can to give the workforce what they need to perform their job as effectively as possible," Mahaffee says.


Corporate Apples? Yes. BYOD? No.

" Organization: Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA), Boston. Owns and operates Boston's major conference and exposition venues.

" Key numbers: 450 employees (some part time); about 250 mobile users.

" Devices supported: A total of 331 employer-owned Apple devices, including a variety of iPhone and iPad models, all of which are supported by the internal IT team.

" How BYOD happened: It didn't. Since the MCCA is a state agency, there was no way IT could mandate or even encourage union workers to bring in their own mobile devices, according to Steven Snyder, the agency's CIO and CTO. Because officials didn't want workers to take matters into their own hands -- and because mobility was an obvious way to increase employee productivity in cavernous convention facilities -- the MCCA decided to standardize on the latest Apple mobile technology in an attempt to give users what they'd likely choose on their own.


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