New Mobile Management Options for BYOD-Driven Enterprises

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By: Esther Shein|

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With the number of mobile devices in enterprises on the rise, it has never been more important to have a thorough and updated bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place. According to J. Gold Associates, there will be seven to 10 times the current number of devices in the workplace by 2020, and the amount of data generated by these devices will increase three to five times the current amount. Aside from managing the sheer number of devices, enterprises must also address other BYOD issues such as antivirus and malware detection and porting mission-critical apps to devices.

Within three years, more than half of companies will have near-universal mobile access for their workforce. Most organizations are simply unprepared for these challenges, and there is an urgent need to address these issues.

BYOD Beginnings and MDM

The earliest instances of BYOD policies were prompted by employees who worked remotely. IT teams typically rushed to get a handle on the management of both employee- and company-owned devices by deploying mobile device management (MDM) programs. This technology gave IT the ability to centralize device management, deploy remote configurations and updates and deliver apps and data to mobile endpoints. MDM was especially helpful in overcoming early BYOD challenges such as onboarding and managing large numbers of devices.

However, as people have become more comfortable using devices at work, well-intentioned employees have started to use consumer apps for business-related functions. They’ve also started to install unapproved applications on their mobile devices, introducing security and data integrity issues. Further, if employees lose or misplace their device, MDM software gives IT the ability to remotely wipe the entire device.

While this handles the security dilemma, this strategy often causes dissatisfaction among users who lose personal data in the process. Additionally, users are often displeased that some MDM software affects battery performance and requires them to repeatedly type in passwords on their devices, which can hamper their productivity.

New Acronyms to Add to the Mix

Members of a younger generation are now entering the workforce, and because they were raised with mobile technology, it is imperative for employers to provide a consistent and hassle-free mobile experience. MDM, J. Gold Associates claims, is dead. Today, the focus has shifted from devices to apps and data. As a result, companies are increasingly adopting newer device programs such as choose-your-own-device (CYOD), corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) and enterprise mobility management (EMM).

These strategies have many benefits. EMM lets IT manage personal devices in a corporate setting without affecting the user experience or introducing security risks. CYOD and COPE address core BYOD challenges by offering greater security and control; under these programs, employees can use their personal apps and data with certain restrictions while IT still owns and controls the devices.

As more business functions are conducted from employees’ mobile devices, IT must remain nimble in its ability to respond to any issues that arise. After all, failing to meet user demands can mean lost revenue and sales, in turn harming the enterprise’s bottom line.

Creating a Consistent User Experience

“Enterprise mobility today is about much more than employees bringing their own smartphones and tablets to work and enabling their mobility services,” Richard Esposito, general manager of Mobility Services at IBM, explained on Mobile Business Insights. By adopting the right BYOD technologies, companies will not only create a more efficient workplace, but build innovative cultures, support work-life balance and engender goodwill from employees.

Enterprise mobility is about managing different platforms, designs and processes, Esposito noted. IT needs to provide a consistent, high-quality user experience to utilize the full potential of a mobile workplace.

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About The Author

Esther Shein

Freelance Writer

Esther Shein is a freelance writer and editor specializing in technology, business and education. Her work has appeared in several online and print publications, including Inc., Computerworld, NetworkComputing, InformationWeek, BYTE, CIO, CMO.com and The Boston Globe. She has written thought leadership whitepapers, customer case studies and marketing materials in addition to news and feature articles. Prior to going freelance she was the editor-in-chief of Datamation, an online enterprise technology magazine. She was also a senior writer at eWeek (formerly PC Week) and worked at The Associated Press.

Articles by Esther Shein
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