The iPad’s Reminder: Weigh the Risk and Benefit of Consumer Technologies in the Enterprise

Apple’s announcement last week heralding the arrival of the iPad provides a distinct reminder of the challenges information risk organizations must address in the “consumerization” era of IT. With the line between corporate and personal technology rapidly disappearing, CISOs must find the delicate balance between supporting adoption of technologies that improve productivity and managing the accompanying downside risks.

Originally perceived as an issue restricted to the younger “Generation Y” segment of the workforce, data increasingly reveal the challenge extends across nearly every demographic category in all organizations. Information Risk organizations need to have a clearly articulated strategy for managing new technologies as they appear in the enterprise. IREC recently profiled* an approach from Intel, which applies the following five lessons to their consideration of new technologies:

  1. Consider the cost of inaction and honestly balance the benefits of openness versus locking down the environment.
  2. Assess information and regulatory risk from the start and throughout the process.
  3. Define a governance model in advance.
  4. Start with areas that add the most and clearest business value-consider business processes most connected to revenue generation.
  5. Maximize the benefit to users by providing an integrated suite of tools that are incorporated into business processes. Emphasize the real-world benefit of these tools to the users and give them the training they need to use them effectively.

Consumer technologies in all forms will continue to permeate the enterprise in all but the most strictly locked-down environments. Have you formulated an approach to the iPad yet? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

*This profile is located behind the IREC paywall.  If you are not a member but interested in the full profile, let me know in the comments below.

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