BYOD with Intune

BYOD adoption growing rapidly

10 January 2021

Products & licensing
Modern workplace
Technology review

By Geert Verloigne, Technical Consultant, Realdolmen

As the pandemic has increased the numbers of homeworkers in many countries, organizations have been forced to introduce or further accommodate Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as a concept. And Microsoft Intune may well be the ideal tool to manage that. Let us explain.

BYOD

As an employer, supporting BYOD means allowing employees to bring in some of their own devices, such as laptops and smartphones, and actually use them for professional purposes at work.

This means that in addition to the employee's private data and applications, these devices contain the necessary company data and applications as well. As a rule, the employer is responsible for the management of such applications, and that can lead to problems. After all, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of their employer controlling (part of) their private phone or computer. Conversely, employers may be scared of the security risks associated with BYOD – imaginary or otherwise. Cultural differences can also help explain people's occasional resistance to BYOD. Especially in Europe, employees still tend to expect their employer to provide everything they need to do their job. In the US, that expectation is not as strong, and companies are more likely to allow their staff a choice of their own or company devices.

Lack of sufficient ICT equipment

Many ICT manufacturing companies have currently suspended operations as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Others have adapted their production to help fight the virus. Apple is now producing medical masks; Tesla is building ventilators. As distributors receive less new stock or none at all, their existing inventory is shrinking slowly but surely. Furthermore, deliveries to sectors such as healthcare and education are being prioritized, making it even harder for businesses to obtain sufficient ICT equipment.

Every cloud has a silver lining, though, as these difficult circumstances are an ideal incentive for many organizations to make the switch to BYOD – including our own. For these organizations, the next challenge is to manage and secure their own ICT equipment for use by homeworkers, and to do so efficiently, adequately and remotely. Microsoft Intune, a cloud-based mobile management platform, more than meets this need.
 

Microsoft Intune: all-in-one

Microsoft Intune not only lets you manage and secure Windows devices, but also Android, iOS and macOS. This is a definite necessity. Home environments can be very diverse, and that includes their ICT. It can also be used to configure and manage mobile apps. What this really means, though, is that this goes further than just the actual mobile devices.

Intune for all equipment

More specifically, you can use Intune to control both which business applications may run on a particular device and who may access certain applications on that device. For example, you can require users to enter a code to be able to use a certain business application. You can also implement protection to make it impossible to copy data between applications – particularly from business applications to personal ones.

Low-threshold service

Microsoft Intune restricts all business applications to a so-called bubble that is walled off from the rest of the device, as business application data on the device is stored in encrypted form. If an employee leaves the organization, the company will only be able to delete corporate resources from their private device. In other words, the organization controls its own business applications and data, not the private resources on the device.

Intune's accessibility is another advantage. As the service is in the cloud, organizations won't require additional servers or other equipment to get started with this solution. Even so, they will need to have taken several important steps towards the cloud. In particular, they must have made the switch to Office 365, Microsoft's cloud office suite. Though Intune is not a built-in Office 365 feature, it does integrate seamlessly with this digital office environment.

You can sign up for Microsoft Intune separately right now, simply paying a subscription fee. You can also buy it as part of Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). This is Microsoft's full security suite, which we talked about in an earlier blog post.

Want to find out more?

Please don't hesitate to contact our specialists at info@realdolmen.com. Of course, you can also get in touch with your regular Realdolmen account manager.

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