In a recent article for the Wall Street Journal, Shara Tibken addresses enterprise tablet adoption and its impact on IT networks.
“Companies everywhere are adopting tablets,” Tibken writes. “Forrester Research Inc. estimates that about 25% of computers used for work globally are tablets and smartphones, not PCs.”
Rapid — and mass — adoption of mobile devices pose some serious challenges for IT. Remote access to company data is the reason why mobile devices are so useful in business, but the associated security risks can be daunting. IT must make sure the information is securely hosted. And then there are the management issues. Writes Tibken:
“There are issues of control as well. When employees use personal tablets for work, can the IT staff remotely wipe the hard drive if the device gets stolen? Employees also can download thousands of programs on their own, which can be a security nightmare for a corporate network and cause compatibility issues when the company wants to update operating systems and apps.”
And this description is only a slice of the complex management challenges posed by mobile devices. Tibken’s takeaway? New devices demand new IT management strategies. Tablets and smartphones are not an extension of the firewall-protected PC, and they can’t be treated as such.