Data Management Is a Mobile Priority for Enterprises in 2017
As enterprises sharpen their focus on mobility issues, data management is taking front seat as a top concern among IT leaders.
That’s the key takeaway from a recent survey conducted by Clutch, a B2B research platform, and DMI, a global end-to-end mobility services company. Based on responses from 582 IT decision-makers at large enterprises, the study found IT leaders are focusing their efforts and budgets this year on data mobilization efforts, with a strong emphasis on cloud integration and mobile security.
The Cloud Is In
In IT circles, the cloud is the hottest topic of 2017. The survey found 30 percent of IT leaders expect to make larger investments in cloud integration this year, and 28 percent anticipate the cloud will deliver greater benefits than other mobile-minded efforts.
“We have seen the way mobility has grown in the enterprise — initially, it was about device security and accessing emails. Now enterprise mobility is more about applications and data,” said Varun Dogra, DMI’s chief technology officer, in a statement. “It’s mobile first, cloud first everywhere.”
Access Versus Security
Cloud integration enables a more mobile workforce, with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and remote workers using smartphones and tablets to access company data. Unsurprisingly, mobile security is a point of concern among IT leaders, who are searching for effective ways to secure the growing number of mobile access points — many of them potentially unverified and unsecured — that arise when enterprises make volumes of company data accessible via the cloud.
Striking a balance between access and security remains a struggle for enterprises, which are pursuing a variety of device, application and mobility management services to address this challenge. It makes sense, then, that 89 percent of survey respondents already have a mobility strategy in place.
However, there’s no standard definition of an enterprise mobility strategy, the study notes. When asked to name the main components of their organization’s mobility effort, the top choices were cloud integration and mobile device management (each with 67 percent), followed by mobile application management (65 percent). This focus on managing mobile devices and apps makes sense, as lax BYOD policies can lead to major security risks.
Finding Balance in Data Management
Enterprises must determine their tolerance level for data exposure, the study finds, and determine the best ways to achieve balance.
“This can be done by measuring the trustworthiness of the device (security) and user (based on behaviors exhibited) to determine an appropriate level of authentication to enforce for a given situation,” said Jason Sinchak, chief technology officer of Sentegrity, a mobile security firm.
The growing mobile economy means that data security will always be a challenge for companies, added Sinchak, who suggests enterprises find a “happy medium” to minimize security threats.