October 22, 2012, 8:46 PM — Don't fear the "bring your own device" (BYOD) trend -- take a chance and find out if it works in your organization, say IT managers in the financial industry that let employees make use of their personal smartphones and tablets for work.
"I'm a huge advocate of 'bring your own device,'" says Robert Meltz, CTO for Hearthstone, the $12 billion investment firm based in Los Angeles focusing on the residential building industry. He acknowledges his company didn't exactly go in pursuit of BYOD for employees, but when employees began asking what they could do with their personal iPads at work, Hearthstone decided to give it a try.
He says Hearthstone has found one of the most useful ways to integrate business file-sharing with iOS devices is integrating them into the EMC Syncplicity cloud-based file-sharing service the company uses.
With the Syncplicity app for iOS, the user's mobile device has access to Hearthstone's electronic files, updated via the Syncplicity service, says Meltz. He notes the investment firm began using Syncplicity over a year ago, first thinking of it mainly as a way to enhance disaster recovery by having encrypted cloud-based file-sharing that duplicates server files held internally, but it quickly became a basis for all types of file-sharing for mobile devices.
Hearthstone will also reimburse employees for BlackBerries and iPhones, but doesn't favor supporting Android devices due to security concerns mainly around malware issues and the fact that this would be another mobile platform to support.
Blackstone, a New York-based financial firm with $205 billion in investments, has also decided it will support employees' personal iOS devices, says CTO Bill Murphy. It's not favoring Android at the present time.