IT Skills that Facilitate Cloud and BYOD Adoption

Feb 02, 2015 • Gadgets, Tablet
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A quick web search of items before their time will provide a long list of gadgets and machines rejected by our predecessors which are now shaping our future. For example, Apple’s Newton was considered a flop when released in 1993, but upon close inspection it strongly resembles the highly popular iPads of today. 

There are a number of reasons an innovative product might fail. Sometimes it’s a question of marketing or pricing, but most of the time, it’s because people don’t see its true potential or lack the skills to make the most of it.

This rejection isn’t exclusive to tech devices. It also applies to industry trends and movements. For example, new mobile devices are creating an era of cloud computing and BYOD (What is BYOD?). While some see the benefits of these technical advancements, many still resist implementing them, either because they don’t fully understand their benefits, or believe the risks are too high.

This immediately begs the question as to why? Believe it or not, only about half of UK companies have adopted some sort of BYOD policy, with only a dismal four percent having fully gone BYOD. Despite all the industry buzz around mobilizing the workforce and the freedom of using personal phones and tablets at work, very few companies are ready to make the jump just yet.The natural reaction is to point the finger at network security. Not having a firm grasp of every device on the network, or being able to control apps or software is a little unsettling, but there are other underlying issues as well, including the inadequate skills of IT professionals.

To clarify, that doesn’t mean IT workers are poor at their jobs. The problem is too many companies worry their staff isn’t properly trained to handle cloud migration or the sudden influx of a wide range of devices all at once. As a result, there’s a very high demand for professionals with expertise in this area. Those with implementation, support or development experience in the BYOD and cloud space are highly sought after.

The following are three important skills to consider when looking for the right talent for BYOD and cloud implementation:

App Development 

App developers are essential for building and redesigning web applications with information that can be rendered on mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. In addition, virtual desktops and applications are replacing traditional legacy desktop software, so companies need the right experience to build out solutions that meet mobile demands.

Network Architecture

Not surprisingly, introducing a number of new devices, each different in their programming and usage, will require big changes to a company’s network. The same can be said of migrating a lot of information to the cloud. A proper re-architected network offers a number of substantial benefits, like flexibility and scalability, or simpler and more secure BYOD management. The right network management applications can show administrators what devices are on the network, what they are accessing, and how secure they are. Finally, new, updated networks are more reliable, and will help avoid shutdowns.

Mobile Security

Security is still one of the core concerns of BYOD and cloud adoption, and so professionals with industry experience in this area will help alleviate much of the worry many organizations feel. A mobile security expert isn’t just familiar with the right security apps. They’re also familiar with mobile malware and which mobile device management solutions are best suited for an organization’s needs. They’re capable of working with network architects to build controls that protect company information and personal data on employee devices.

While those are all important IT skills to have, it’s important to close by mentioning one of the most important skills when dealing with change at any level within an organization. That skill is proper communication. Confusion leads to failure. If employers are transparent about their expectations, and voice them in a way everyone understands, there’s no reason to not achieve a successful BYOD policy or an easier time switching to the cloud. The key is to have open dialogue between employers and employees, allowing them to share concerns and address them in a way that leaves everyone satisfied.

Alex Espenson

Alex Espenson is a technology writer with a passion for home automation, tech security, and wearable smart devices.

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