Android and iOS are no longer sneaking their way into the enterprise; they are being celebrated as productivity platforms for employees. Here’s what you need to know now.
Their entrance has been accompanied by the rise of mobile application management, secure container technologies, application wrapping and ‘dual persona’ devices as the industry shifts from a focus on managing the devices themselves to managing the critical business applications and data.
Many IT organizations are looking to make changes to better align with these industry trends and to get back out in front of the end-users and ‘Shadow IT’. Some of these changes will be difficult to embrace, as they will mean reducing the amount of IT control and visibility.
Here are my four suggestions to drive change in your organizations mobility practices:
“I will not only allow BYOD, I will embrace it as a business enabler”
Many organizations have already created a BYOD policy and are allowing access to business email from employee-owned mobile devices. It won’t be long before there is insurmountable pressure to provide access to all business apps and data from employee-owned devices.
And in fact, some organizations are moving in this direction proactively as they see the opportunity to move to BYOD as the preferred model for endpoint computing devices. In 2013, you may need to start planning for how your organization can embrace BYOD in a proactive manner while ensuring you don’t sacrifice employee productivity or corporate compliance.
“I will proactively deploy mobile apps to our employees in a managed fashion”
Mobile apps are quickly moving from a consumer market incarnation to a real business enabler and productivity engine. The promise of pure thin-client computing from the desktop world hasn’t translated well to mobile devices where I/O mechanisms are more constrained, connectivity may be intermittent, and gesture-based interactions are becoming more common.
2013 is the year to start learning about mobile application management and how you can use simple tools to deploy and manage business apps. Much like the BYOD trend, IT organizations should look at 2013 as a way to get ahead of the curve to mitigate the risk of ‘Shadow IT’ making their own decisions on how to deploy and manage apps internally.
“I will not wipe an employee’s personal data if they lose their device or leave the company”
While this is primarily relevant to BYOD devices, this is something we need to get our heads around as an industry in 2013 as it relates to any mobile device, no matter who owns it. The reality is, most mobile devices are used to take personal photos, to run personal apps, to store personal credentials, to cache personal websites, and so on.
And if an employee loses a device, has it stolen, or takes it with them when they leave the company, we need to look for new ways to ensure that the IT department can only wipe the business data from that device and the employee truly has full control and responsibility over the personal data.
“I will learn a lot more about the actual threats, vulnerabilities and security risks that are associated with these devices”
Mobile devices in the enterprise are quickly becoming the weakest link. They have emerged as full-blown, multi-core, hyper connected endpoint computing devices that are running consumer-grade operating systems with countless unverified apps written by, well, just about anyone.
They can store just about anything, and with the press of a button content can be forwarded from a work email account to an Internet-based email account or document share – with no ability for IT to detect or trace it. Underneath their pretty exterior and friendly touchscreen gestures are exploits and breaches waiting to happen.
2013 is the year that IT organizations need to get well educated on the actual threats, vulnerabilities and risks associated with mobile devices. Viruses are the least of your worries. The attack vectors into these devices are frightening, and the bad guys know way more than we do at this stage.