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BYOD and OS Complexity – the Latest Challenges for CIOs

If you’re like me, you were eager to learn about Apple’s latest iPhone release, announced last month. In fact, I was thrilled to attend my first-ever press event at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino and the occasion did not disappoint (hello Elvis Costello!). Apple orchestrates its launch events extremely well and it’s no wonder many consumers are ardent Apple fans.

In fact, for those of us who use iPhones, we’ve become accustomed to their ease of use. So when we receive the red notification icon to upgrade the operating system, it’s so simple to do we don’t think twice about it. This is a great experience for consumers!

Yet, the instant gratification we as consumers love isn’t necessarily ideal for BYOD devices in the enterprise. Fortunately, Apple does give corporate users more time now to test the new operating system (OS) before it becomes widely available. But the latest challenge for IT professionals is how to thoroughly test a new OS with respect to how it impacts all of your apps. We have to ensure the device, OS, and apps are working seamlessly together. If your company is offering more and more mobile apps, this can indeed be a challenge – sometimes leaving the IT department feeling a bit flat-footed.

I must say that I do love the new Touch ID on the new iPhone 5s. Once again, Apple thinks about the user experience first – even the thumbprint enrollment process is an appealing, visual experience!

With respect to Google’s Android platform, it too presents its own unique challenges. Android is still very fragmented. Samsung’s version isn’t quite the same as HTC’s, which is also different from pure Android and all of the other OEM versions. Needless to say, the Android space is fraught with complexity.

So the latest challenge we at Cisco are grappling with – and I hear this from other companies too – is how to deliver a consistent, optimal experience when you have so many enterprise requirements associated with BYOD such as security and apps. Considering the range and change of operating systems on mobile devices, how can IT securely enable access to enterprise apps and resources and give those end users that speed and ease of access that they want?

The task is dauntingly complex, requiring a laser focus on the many and constant changes happening with mobile devices and their respective operating systems.  We attempt to get in front of OS changes by aggressively communicating to our employees and contractors but it’s by no means the silver bullet.

I’m interested in hearing how my colleagues tackle this one – let me know what challenges and solutions you’ve developed.

Happy Collaborating!

 

 

 

 

 

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