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Heino Gevers, Mimecast South AfricaHeino Gevers, Mimecast South Africa

There’s no questioning the fact that mobile connectivity and the emergence of new technologies such as tablet devices and long term evolution (LTE) networks have profoundly altered the way in which professionals go about their daily business.

Today, even in emerging markets, the vast majority of employees have come to regard access to sensitive corporate information via the device of their choosing as a prerequisite for job satisfaction.

Be it a laptop, BlackBerry or , professionals are demanding the option to respond to business e-mail, pull up sales data or dive into proprietary CRM systems on the road.

This places the CIO and IT managers in a precarious position. Is the solution to simply open up the corporate infrastructure to any device without control, or to crack down on employee expectations and tighten the grip on intellectual property?

Opting out and choosing not to embrace change can often be more harmful than giving in.

Increasingly, an employee who is forced to access work related information via a portal they are uncomfortable with, will begin to investigate alternatives.

These may include automatically forwarding all corporate e-mail to a Gmail address, using large fi le sending services like DropBox or subverting the system via a mobile hack. In any event, potentially sensitive information has found its way onto platforms over which the IT department has no influence.

Although many CIOs are slowly beginning to allow employees access to information channels such as e-mail on their mobile devices, these permissions are often accompanied by strict MDM (mobile device management) controls which are accompanied by unreasonable password or usage restrictions.

In my opinion, the answer lies not in policing employees, but in giving them access to company IP via a secure channel.

About the author: is specialist at Africa. Mimecast is a coffee bar sponsor at Sandton Convention Centre from 7-9 May.