by Curt Finch

Three Ways BYOD Changes Company Architecture

Feb 10, 20123 mins
Cloud ComputingConsumer ElectronicsData Center

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is really taking root among companies everywhere.  It’s a trend that has challenged IT departments to change the way they think about enterprise IT.  I spoke to three companies that have found unique solutions in managing the BYOD trend without compromising the user experience. 

Allowing for Personalization in Company-Issued Devices

How do you make sure that employees will actually use the devices you assign to them?  The key to usability is to allow employees to personalize their devices.  This is what Level 3 Communications did when they issued over 1,300 iPads to their sales team.  They allowed employees to download apps for themselves.  Of course this meant that usage on the iPads needed to be tracked to keep users accountable.  To do this, Level 3 uses Apptio to provide a showback “receipt.”  This way the company covers their security concerns while still allowing employees to be well versed in iPad functionality by encouraging personal use.  And the iPads have proven incredibly useful.  Level 3 even created custom apps for the sales team that include price quotes, product details, and other essential sales data to increase the sales team’s efficiency. 

Multiple Apps Lead to a Simple Log-In

We all access multiple applications and websites which require log-in information.  Some simplifications have been made towards log-ins. For example, just log in on one Google page and you’re logged in across the entire Google line.  But what if an app uses two different sites with two different log-ins? 

Merit Medical Systems ran into this exact problem and turned to Symplified for help creating a single log-in service for their employees.  Merit Medical Systems has hundreds of employees, partners and distributors that access multiple software-as-a-service apps, the latest training and other important information.  These users are accessing this wide range information using laptops, iPhones, tablets and other mobile devices.  Merit Medical Systems needed to regulate who could access what information since much of it was sensitive and regulated data. 

Symplified helped Merit Medical Systems create a secure central app portal that is accessed with a single-sign in.  The new architecture delivers the correct apps for the appropriate users on any device they’re using.  Symplified Mobile Edition integrates directly with Active Directory for authentication, access control and de-provisioning.  Symplified Mobile Edition also accepts consumer identities provided by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other Open ID providers.  Technology might seem to be getting more complex, but it’s actually evolving in a way that simplifies the processes to create a more usable experience.  The key to success is to create technology with the user in mind.

Focusing on Automation

Mentor Graphics Corporation (MGC) is working to automate technology processes and remove some of the burden from their IT staff. MGC is transitioning from a legacy access system used for guest wireless to access control on wired and wireless for guest/training/contractor access.  They plan to accomplish this by using the Bradford Networks Solution. MGC plans to use as much automation and integration in each space as possible. The glue of this environment is Bradford Networks — where automation does not accomplish their needs, a Global Help Desk is ready at all times.

The usability of technology is a top priority in all of these examples.  Usability leads to greater efficiency, which is the ultimate goal of any new development. 

How has BYOD affected your IT department?  What technology are you catering to your users?