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How BYOD has changed the IT landscape

Ellen Messmer | Sept. 6, 2012
It may be hard for some to just say ‘no’ to the growing “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) crowd, but that was the initial reaction manager of information at certified public accounting firm Burr, Pilger, Mayer Anthony Peters had when senior executives starting purchasing iPhones, asking them to be supported.

Once that happens, the MDM software ensures network access ceases and the IT staff have to rush off to find the physician and explain why that's not allowed and get them started with BYOD again, Devine says. He adds BYOD is here to stay, but today it comes with a specific burden associated with keeping track of BYOD devices, which sometimes don't appear on the network for quite some time. He adds his healthcare organization is also looking at ways it might be possible to "self-register" BYOD users.

Rick Copple, vice president and CTO at Community Health Network (CHN) in Indianapolis, also says BYOD is supported mainly to let hospital staff get corporate e-mail today, under certain conditions.

Under a policy decided by CHN's IT department, CSO, CEO, auditors and healthcare professionals who asked for BYOD, these personally-owned tablet and smartphones have to use the MOBI wireless device management service with the Good Technology client just as corporate-issued devices might, but designated as a BYOD.

If the device is lost, the healthcare organization has the ability to wipe the business e-mail but not personal mail. But the IT staff aren't officially providing tech support for BYOD devices in the same manner they would for corporate-issued devices. But as the hospital system begins its rollout of a new electronic-medical record system from vendor EPIC, much change is anticipated as the healthcare organization is actively looking at various types of BYOD software to allow selective wipe and other features.

BYOD is "different"

"We've moved completely to BYOD," says Brad Pierce, network engineer at tax planning and accounting firm Horne LLP, mainly because of strong management support for it, with Google Android and Apple iOS devices managed via AirWatch and supporting mandatory encryption at rest. "We adopted Citrix Receiver as part of BYOD for tablets. It's a way to give users access to applications that we'd traditionally run on their laptops, in a secure manner on their smartphones and tablets."

Despite things working out with BYOD, there's still that slightly odd feeling about managing an employee's personal device. "We still do have the mindset these devices are different," Pierce says. "And the end user is acknowledging they are handing over a portion of this device we can control."


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