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Forget BYOD, MDM experts say businesses should focus on securing just the corporate data

by Doug Drinkwater

November 28 2012

Zenprise, ionGrid and Apperian put more focus on controlling content at the TabletBiz conference
Zenprise, ionGrid and Apperian put more focus on controlling content at the TabletBiz conference

Managing tablets or smartphones in business doesn’t have to be complex or focus solely on devices, a panel of mobile device management (MDM) experts concluded at the TabletBiz conference yesterday.

NEW YORK -- Senior figures from Zenprise, ionGrid and Apperian dispelled some of the myths of mobile device management at the TabletBiz conference yesterday, and also gave out some advice on how organizations can control  personally-owned and corporately-deployed tablets.

Andy Thompson, director at MDM and mobile app management (MAM) vendor Apperian, urged enterprise to take ‘full control’ of devices but said that mobile security will increasingly shift from device to app.

“We hear a lot of conversation about [mobile] security, but the focus now is on securing the app,” said Thompson.

Michael Rothrock, founder and VP of product at ionGrid, agreed in part with this, and urged IT departments and decision makers to keep it simple when managing content on mobile devices.

“IT’s first thought was to control every action of every user on every device, but they [IT] realized that that’s a lot of work,” said Rothrock.

“Overall, they’re just trying to limit the sphere of things they have to manage. They really just need to manage corporate information access, they don’t care about the personal device.”

Zenprise’s business development director Derek Owen added to the consensus that the data is more important than securing the device.

“As long as [they] encrypt data, it’s more about the data than the actual device,” he added.

Going forward, the panellists believe that over the next two years, the industry will see widespread acceptance of IT rules in business for managing devices, so long as these mobile management services secure the app, do not harm personal devices and are invisible to the end user.

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