Time for Enterprise IT to Embrace B.Y.O.D.

The New York Times’ Verne Kopytoff wrote this week about the proliferation of employees’ personal mobile devices in business and how once-resistant IT departments are starting to embrace the change.

Kopytoff is quick to point out that IT departments’ change in tack has been forced by a variety of factors, notably employee complaints about inferior technology at the office, pressure to assuage those complaints and executives’ embrace of the iPad. Kopytoff writes, “But I.T. departments are gradually warming to the idea simply because their bosses left them little choice. The I.T. staff may grieve for their lost power, but they do it.”

Okta’s IT customers see “Bring Your Own Device” initiatives as a good thing and much more easily enabled as they move to the cloud. BYOD means lower hardware costs and improved employee satisfaction. Employees are happy – and often more productive – when given choice about which devices they use for work. BYOD strategies can also save companies money by effectively outsourcing IT costs to the device manufacturers.

As employees move to BYOD, IT must by definition switch their focus from being device-centric to people-centric. Their apps must be accessible from any device, any time – which inherently is better satisfied if that app is in the cloud. The challenge for IT then becomes how do they connect that user, independent of device, with the cloud services they need. Okta helps IT connect their employees to the apps they need (and want) to do their jobs well. Okta custmers are adapting their enterprise architectures to make BYOD as simple and productive as possible, including the access to apps that people need.

To deliver this people-centric IT approach the business needs seamless identity management for all web applications (in the cloud or on-premises) and across all devices. It’s all part of ushering in a new era of IT, in which the IT department is a true service provider: benevolent, efficient and device-agnostic, and focused on making their end-users as productive and happy as they can be.