I have been on the fence about signing up for the Certified Records Manager exam. One of the reasons is because I do not believe it will prepare for me the challenges of records and information in the context of Mobile Device Management (MDM). Let the following quote from an article in Baseline Magazine entitled “Nine BYOD Mistakes That Drive IT and Users Crazy” sober you about the changing information landscape:

Some 1.2 billion smartphones will enter the market over the next five years, industry research shows, promising to further empower today’s mobile BYOD (bring your own device) generation. In fact, mobile application development projects will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4 to 1 within that time period. And it’s not as if the BYOD crowd is currently in the minority. More than four out of five employees use at least one personal device for business use, and three out of four companies have some type of BYOD policy. Of course, the wealth of disparate devices accessing the enterprise network and introducing all sorts of new must-have apps can create nightmares for technology professionals.

Even though Device is in the acronym, BYOD is not about the device, but about the information on the device. If you have never implemented a BYOD policy I have included an infographic below from CMSWire on “How to Create a Successful BYOD Policy.”

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One of the challenges that this brings up as we think about how BYOD and the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principle of Availability is where information will be made available and how to make sure it is not mixed with personal data. Outside of a file room and electronic record keeping systems, a common problem in most offices are personal papers being mixed with business records. As seen in the infographic, when implementing a BYOD policy an important tasks is defining the segregation of personal and organizations data. Will data be local or on cloud storage and if local how is segregation ensured?

One popular means to segregate corporate information from personal information is that of containerization. Keeping personal information and corporate information is even more important in a BYOD setting for the sake of protecting corporate information from breaches and malicious attacks. I have included a definition of containerization below. You can read more at Best BYOD management: Containment is your friend in Computer World

an emerging class of management tools that carve out a separate, encrypted zone or policy bubble on the user’s smartphone within which some corporate apps and data can reside. In this way, policy controls apply only to what’s in the container, rather than to the entire device.

Mostly, containerization tools are complementary to MDM software, with increasing numbers of MDM vendors incorporating containerization techniques.

On the topic of BYOD and records management I would recommend BYOD FAQ: Answers to IT’s burning questions about BYOD from TechTarget.

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