By Chris Pickles, Head of Industry Initiatives, BT Global Banking & Financial Markets
A journalist down here in Johannesburg asked me today what I thought was holding back the adoption of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies among major firms. It’s an interesting question because it seems to relate to several different challenges that firms face.
Firstly, they want to improve service to their customers in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors, to retain their customers’ existing business and to grow new business with those same customers.
And secondly, they want to motivate and retain good staff so that they provide even better service to their customers.
However, a major concern that firms have is securing the networked work environment so that a BYOD approach does not allow unwanted visitors and cyber attacks inside their systems. One reason for this concern is the complexity of the underlying network systems that the firm has in place, the resulting complexity of securing that environment, and their lack of faith in their ability to plug all of the related holes that could allow unwanted access.
It’s a practical example of how legacy systems hold back a firm from developing its business and competiveness. At first sight it may seem that legacy systems have a relatively low cost of operation — while in reality they create an opportunity cost that can be far greater and that can seriously damage a firm’s commercial health and longer-term chances of success.
Rationalising legacy systems and conventional network approaches and migrating to a cloud environment make it easier and more cost-efficient for a firm to secure its internal systems from external attack and, as a result, more practical for it to implement new technology approaches such as BYOD.