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Security channel has to face IT consumerisation challenge

Simon Quicke
The consumerisation of technology in the workplace poses one of the greatest challenges to users but one of the greatest opportunities for security resellers over the next couple of years.

The views of industry players assembled at a round table in London discussing the changing security landscape revealed that the move towards people bringing in and using their own technology at work was unstoppable.

Nick Lowe, responsible for running Western European region for Check Point, said that it was becoming more complex for firms looking to both widen the number of devices that could log onto the network but remain secure.

"Data is becoming incredibly mobile and the consumerisation of the device puts security on the table and asks questions about if the enterprise has assumed responsibility for security," he said.

The inevitability of the spread of personal devices is being backed by some firms, including Citrix, which are championing the bring your own device approach, and the pace of change has been increased with the success of products like the iPad.

Bob Tarzey, director and principal analyst at Quocirca, said that firms had to take a more mature attitude towards the introduction of iPhones, iPads and android devices into the workplace.

"People will use personal devices whether or not you ban them. If you try to control what people do then they are more likely to use personal devices at work," he said.

The result of the consumerisation of technology has been the opportunity for the channel to step forward and help customers already struggling with complexity with management tools.

Mike Welbrook, head of data marketing at Orange Europe, said that the solutions were fragmented and complex and individual vendors didn't have the tools that resellers could bring together.

"We don't have all the management tools to deal with it and people have more than one device, they have a notepad, phone and a smart phone," he said.

Dave Ellis, director of new technology and services at ComputerLinks, said that resellers with the right skills could solve the problems for users but there was still a need for most of the channel to focus on this area.

"Some people who have embraced it and skilled themselves up and see what they can offer to solve these issues but outside that select number of partners there are still a number of partners that don't recognises it's an opportunity here," he said.

"it is a real opportunity here to help customers with these issues and the channel can help these companies but a lot of education needs to be done," he added.


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