IBM opens its doors to the growing trend of “bring your own device” (BYOD) for all of its employees globally. By the end of the year, IBM will allow its current 100,000 workers to bring their own mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) to work and use them to accomplish work related tasks.
IBM’s Bill Bodin, CTO for mobility said that the recently fortified IBM internal networks are ready with better mobile security ensuring that it is safe to connect the employees’ devices to the company network.
The IBM workforce is expected to increase to 200,000 by 2012 as IBM will be bringing in the extra hundred thousand workers next year. All of which are allowed to bring their own Android smartphone, iPhone or tablet to work. It is noted that these employees will still be held accountable for their respective monthly service plans and other concerns regarding their devices. IBM however will be supplying guidance and technical support.
Moreover, the workers are obliged to load an agent software provided by IBM to their devices for a safe access of the company’s systems and other functions. Bodin revealed that the IBM Lotus Traveler will be utilized for employee access to email, contacts and calendar. Aside from this, the company will also make use of endpoint management tools as an added measure if ever devices will be stolen or lost. These tools will let IT managers to wipe significant company data off devices under such circumstance. And also, requiring passwords and using VPNs add up to a more enhanced company security system.
IBM also pointed out that even with the support for new device platforms on tablets and smartphones, the company will still oblige its workers eight-digit alphanumeric password utilization for accessing their handheld devices. Bodin pointed about that this requirement may not be popular to the company’s employees but it is a significant measure of security. He added that screen locks are among the necessary tactical solutions.
Bodin also said that the workers’ log-in process in the future could make use of biometric identification such as fingerprint, voice or facial feature recognition. He mentioned that BM is currently communicating with manufacturers of these devices to ensure that phone unlocking procedures are accessed at the right time.