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Security, Cloud & Collaboration Enable Federal Agencies BYOD Success

We know you were in much anticipation for this week’s Public Sector BYOD Thursday post…drumroll please!

User expectations around using personal devices have evolved rapidly over the past few years, and the BYOD trend has been the result of users demanding to use personal devices and applications the way they want, when they want it on the device of their choosing.

Last week, I talked about the Pentagon’s move toward BYOD. With the BYOD movement here to stay, government agencies are starting to jump on board.

As David Rosenbaum writes in a recent blog post for CFO, BYOD can increase worker productivity (by enabling telework, for example) and reduce capital expenses on technology. However, some CFOs may have reservations about BYOD, perceiving it as a threat to data security.

Rosenbaum declares that these fears are not unfounded, citing a Symantec study that found devices used for personal matters are exposed to more malware than devices used strictly for business purposes. This puts the burden of mobile security on the company because ultimately it is corporate data that is at risk.

Figuring out a place for storing company data is equally important as securing the mobile devices.  Moving data and applications off of the desktop, laptop and mobile devices and storing it in the cloud is one solution that can help achieve necessary levels of data protection.

TechAmerica’s 22nd annual survey of federal chief information officers defined the cloud as an enabler for easier data monitoring, quicker detection of problems, faster security fixes and better overall management. The survey’s findings offer some great suggestions and resources federal agencies can use to guide an architectural adoption of BYOD and the transfer of data to the cloud.

Security and cloud aren’t the only new and exciting applications that are opening doors for BYOD for federal agencies. Collaboration applications take BYOD one step further and gives users the ability to collaborate; when, where, and how they need to. For example, Cisco WebEx TelePresence can be used on a mobile device to deliver a quality “in-person” video experience from the cloud, offering unlimited calling and data sharing.   This ability to have an in-person experience on any device from any location makes remote collaboration more effective. 

What is your agency’s approach to BYOD? Does it have the right supports in place to make BYOD a success? No matter the answer, you should consider collaboration as part of your strategy!

Don’t miss next week’s BYOD blog where I will talk about why a BYOD strategy is no longer an option but a necessity for governments.

*Cisco is also currently on the road talking about all things BYOD. Find out if it’s coming to a city near you.

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