Business

To get work done, BYOD shouldn’t mean ‘Bring Your Own Decoder’

This sponsored post is produced in conjunction with Egnyte.

Let’s say you just got a spiffy new smartphone, which means that the line between your personal life and your work life just got erased. But the universe often seeks balance, so making your work life easier could make the IT department’s more difficult.

IT should see things from your point of view. You can now respond to your boss’ urgent e-mail request while you’re standing in your kitchen sautéing dinner tonight, and you can now flip through those last-minute changes in the overdue presentation on Saturday afternoon while you’re trying to cheer on your son’s losing soccer team. In other words, the world is now your office – adding as much as nine hours of productivity per week on average, according to some estimates.

Be gone, VPNs

But, since it’s your time now and not the company, you can’t be spending that time unlocking locks and climbing through tunnels to get the files you need. BYOD shouldn’t mean Bring Your Own Decoder just to get some work done on a ballfield on a weekend.

We’re looking at you, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Passwords, waiting to log in, tenuous connectivity to internal networks – these are so last century, when even seeing text on a screen that didn’t have wires coming out of it seemed like a luxurious novelty. And no sane person should be required to send around chain e-mail with various versions of attachments. You’re working on weekends, after all, and you need those files.

To be fair, you should see this New World from IT’s point of view. Let’s just say they are like Roman Centurions protecting the kingdom’s jewels from mobile intruders. They don’t want their most valuable treasures, like M&A documents or the new product roadmap, to leave the boundaries of the firewall — although that low-security To Do list for the website fixes is fine to go up on the cloud and that medium-security press release draft can live in the outside-firewall file server.

But while security is their first duty, so is making sure all the bridges are working for their troops, at least in this analogy. You may have a need for that inner-protected product roadmap, and IT needs to figure out how.

Harmony restored

This is the age when individual departments adopt solutions from lots of places because the work needs them, replacing the memory of IT-as-your-master. Here’s where your point-of-view and IT’s sync up: You just want what you need, IT needs to give you what you want, and not everything wants to live in the cloud.

In making life easier for users, mobile devices shouldn’t be making life harder for IT or, when fast connectivity is not available, for you. A single platform, like Egnyte’s, can offer access to all of a company’s treasures, whether they’re behind a firewall, in a public/private/hybrid cloud, or available on a local server.

Once there’s a platform, the task is to segment what files go where. IT might treat files as if they were tagged by the colors of a stoplight. Some files are “red” and never go past the firewall, some are “green” and can go into the cloud, and some, the “yellows,” are actually in a gray area. Permission levels might be a quickest indicator, since files that everyone can see are likely to have a lower security level than files that only one or two people can.

“As long as you have permission, you should have access” could be the mantra of these new Centurions. We hear it sounds even better in Latin.


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