LAS VEGAS: IBM plans to roll out a bring your own device (BYOD) scheme, which will see the firm manage around half a million employee-owned devices.
Speaking to a small group of journalists at the IBM Impact show in Las Vegas on Monday, Bob Sutor, vice president for IBM Mobile Platform, said the firm will be using the latest version of Endpoint Manager to control the different devices used by its own staff.
IBM updated the mobile management console on Monday as part of its broader Mobile Foundation release.
The BYOD project is at a very early stage, and is a goal IBM is working towards, Sutor explained. The scheme will be open in terms of devices supported, rather than blacklisting a particular supplier, but employees will need to be running recent software versions.
There are still issues to be ironed out around BYOD, especially around the separation of personal and enterprise data, according to Sutor. Using his own case as an example, Sutor explained he has an IBM-issued Android device, but uses a personal iPad for work purposes, and intends to soon switch over completely to using the tablet rather than carrying around a laptop for remote working.
“There are many types of separating business from personal but you don’t always want a solid wall,” he said.
“But that means if I go to an island on vacation, I still have to follow the corporate rules.”
The stricter privacy rules in Europe could also make it harder to deploy BYOD schemes in countries such as the UK compared to the US. However, Sutor still felt that it was not ridiculous to imagine that within 10 years, BYOD would be the industry standard.
He added that the huge shift towards mobile could instigate a change in privacy rules, as opposed to current laws continuing to restrict the use of consumer devices as work tools.
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