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FCW : December 2012
16 December 2012 FCW.COM BYOD nology and see some measure of real value for BYOD overall." The bene ts of virtualization In the end, how and to whom agencies allow BYOD access might depend more on the available technologies than the demand. Security is one of the biggest concerns right now, and it s still unclear when --- or if --- all those issues can be resolved. Ideally, Kachman said, any applica- tion that runs on a government-owned mobile device should be able to run on an employee-owned device. But the technology does not yet provide the same type of assurance with regard to data ownership and use. "Truly segmenting data with no pos- sibility of data leakage is hard to get today without looking at a virtual envi- ronment," he said. "With an enclave that provides a bubble that can be destroyed --- and there is a high level of con dence it is destroyed --- then you could deliver any app to both BYOD and government- furnished equipment." Virtualization could be the easiest and most important route that agen- cies take to implement BYOD if they decide BYOD is worth the effort from a business standpoint. Virtualization is already prevalent for servers and is on its way to becoming widespread for desktop PCs. Because agencies are already imple- menting it for other purposes, virtualiza- tion becomes a relatively easy plug-and- play activity, said Jeremy Sherwood, product manager of virtualization and cloud at ScienceLogic. So "instead of ghting the BYOD battle, they can embrace it." "The concerns over the security of virtualization itself, which were still there a year ago, are much less now, and so that plays into the security con- cerns of BYOD," he added. "If the server and desktop and now the BYOD interac- tion between them is also virtualized, it builds this nice, pretty umbrella of security around all of these assets." McCrae said virtualization is crucial to the way NOAA will carry out its mis- sion in the future, and a BYOD policy would have to t with that. "It s where you can really begin to leverage some advantages, whether it s with traditional desktop computing or mobile platforms," he said. "Being able to virtualize your work space...is when you can really start to see the major improvement in productivity." So how does BYOD fit into what agencies see as their IT future? In this case, the chicken probably does come before the egg. "I think it s mobile that s transfor- mative," Kachman said. "BYOD is a component of that transformation [that also] brings a reduction in costs to the government." ■ Many bring-your-own-device pro- ponents argue that the government must allow personal devices in the workplace if they want to attract millennials and the younger gen- eration of so-called digital natives. Those workers are reputedly so attached to their mobile devices that they'd give up just about anything before they'd go without their wire- less connection. GovLoop recently surveyed its members about BYOD issues with the help of Cisco Systems. One ques- tion speci cally asked about the in u- ence of BYOD on employee recruit- ment and retention. The responses were split fairly evenly between those who thought BYOD was important and those who didn't. On the positive side, respondents were attracted by the increased ex- ibility afforded by BYOD and said it showed potential employees that a government of ce was "forward thinking, savvy, and ef cient. "Buta signi cant number of respondents thought it was too small an issue to be a factor in whether someone chose to work for a particular agency. However, Pat Fiorenza, a research analyst at GovLoop and author of the survey report, said he believes the generational divide in the way people view technology is often overstated. "I think people entering the work- force now might be more accus- tomed to using collaboration soft- ware that things such as BYOD can help facilitate, " he said. "But I also think all the generations have things they do with this new technology. " --- Brian Robinson BYOD and the generation gap GETYY IMAGES
November 30, 2012