Dealing With (Thousands of) Personally Owned Devices – Observations at Intel’s IT Center Experts Tour

Posted on June 12, 2012 by


Last week I had the opportunity to attend a presentation of the Intel IT Center Experts Tour held in Ottawa.

I expected the usual product and services marketing roadshow kind of thing – and this expectation was fulfilled to some extent.  Having said this, I was quite (positively) surprised when I encountered something I had not expected to find at the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer:

Intel’s Enterprise IT organization (87 data centers, 75,000 servers, 138,000 devices, 6,400 IT staff at 54 global sites serving 91,500 Intel employees at 164 sites in 62 countries) is in actual fact, fairly transparent, open and communicative when it comes to approaches, strategies, experiences, policies, lessons learned and success (as well as failure) stories.

I found the presentation given by Dave Buchholz (Intel IT Principal Engineer, IT Strategy, Architecture & Innovation) very interesting. In “The Future of Enterprise IT” he provided insights into Intel’s response and approach to IT consumerization, cloud computing, enterprise security and business intelligence – considering, amongst other things, the changing workforce and IT landscape.

His slides revealed (2011) Intel IT Internal data whereupon some 29,000 handheld devices deployed within Intel serve as companion devices to mobile PCs – with 58% of these personally owned (!). The business value: 640,000 email messages via personal handhelds (per qtr.), average of 51 minutes user productivity (time back per day), and fewer unauthorized devices on the network.

In terms of IT Security, Buchholz showed how the IT environment evolves, moving away from a single “one size fits all” security model to more of a multi-layered or ringed security approach, where devices with different security levels are allowed different functionalities (e.g. devices of the lowest trust level are only allowed streamed apps/streamed email – with no local data on the device). Another IT security strategy of Intel is that of “Managed Services Delivered to Client”, with device-aware but device-independent services which are managed centrally (cloud-managed) rather than the device being managed. And of course, this BYOD approach requires trained and aware users.

The presentation slides can be found here:

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