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Preparing your BYOD endgame means facing a few facts

by Julie Palen

January 22 2013

Julie Palen is a Sr. Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Tangoe, a telecommunications software management provider


Tangoe's Julie Palen says increasing demand for multi-platform device management is more complex than ever.

According to IDC, by 2013 the global mobile workforce will exceed 1.19 billion. It is expected that a large percentage of those workers will have smartphones and tablets.

With these trends comes a myriad of questions that will have an impact on the enterprise and the way companies deal with this expanding mobile revolution: How does an organization embrace this new dynamic?  What strategies are enterprises putting in place to deal with this latest technological shift? What devices will your organization grant network access?

This mobile computing revolution has IT management asking,” Is there a difference between managing smartphones and managing tablets on my network?”

The simple answer for me  is “No, there is little difference between managing smartphones and tablet computing devices.”  Tablets are very close to smartphones and in many cases, tablets run on identical, or very similar, mobile operating systems as their smartphone siblings.

In fact, this is just the beginning. I see the ever increasing demand for multi-platform device management marking the latest chapter in mobilization—and it is more complex than ever.

The Dangers of BYOD Today

When it comes to the world of mobility, it is not a hacker seeking information that will change the way businesses engage with BYOD. Instead, the bigger risk may be a well-intentioned employee with an unmanaged personal device.

Employees are using social networking tools on both personally owned devices, also known as individual liable (IL) devices, in addition to corporate liable (CL) devices, which are issued and owned by the enterprise.

The demarcations are fading between what is personal and what is business use. Without question, at some point, someone will share, say, or send—willingly or mistakenly—something that another person considers confidential.

Add to this the security concerns over data sharing applications such as iCloud, Sugarsync or Dropbox where data on one device can automatically be kept in sync with a host of other devices such as laptops, PCs, phones, tablets… and more.

These applications are designed to share data and are useful tools that may pose security concerns to the enterprise.

The bottom line is that people are using their devices, be they CL or IL, to communicate, purchase and share what they are doing and where, via applications that can cost money and dramatically increase security risks for businesses.

Understanding the BYOD End-Game

Understanding where businesses are headed with BYOD means following the fundamental changes across our global information ecosystem.    

An enterprise mobility solution must have the appropriate scope of capabilities and scale or operations to fit your organizational needs, both now and into the foreseeable future. Companies should take into account the policy scope required by application, network access, location, groups, device profiles and users when evaluating their solution and its provider.

Keep in mind that a business should not have to change how it operates to accommodate its mobility management solution. Instead the solution should adapt and enhance current practices and bring process control and meaningful business intelligence to the mobile decision making and management process.

The right device management not only enhances the unique ways that businesses operate but it also provides effective device management, security and end-to-end mobility management along with enterprise-class support and service.

Device management and security are important components in ensuring that your company employees are utilizing smartphones and tablets effectively. However, they are tactical responses to overwhelming market pressure and employee demands.

To get ahead of the growth curve, companies need more tools than just device management. They need a mobility management strategy that dynamically address the devices, their applications, provisioning, security, policies (default and custom), expense management, support, and device retirement and replacement.

Managing a device is only the first step. Managing and enforcing your mobility management strategy across multiple mobile operating systems, with effective technology policies and 7x24x365 enterprise support services that enhance your business and service models, is the end-game to maintain control and manage costs in the ever expanding mobility-enabled business environment.

Julie Palen is a Sr. Vice President of Strategic Business Development at Tangoe, a telecommunications software management provider

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