New smartphones and tablets are being announced on a monthly basis, which in turn is boosting their presence in the enterprise as replacements for corporate-issued technology. Take a quick gander at this chart and you’ll notice tablets alone are “cutting the legs out from under regular PCs”. For organizations that offer a bring your own device (BYOD) program to their employees, the success of the tablet outside of the workplace is working its way in.
In the case of the latest technology on the market, experts have pumped their brakes in labeling Windows 8 as enterprise ready. That’s not to say consumers will halt in bringing their new Surface RT to work.
To add to the burden, OS upgrades for Android, iOS and Windows are collectively released on an equally frequent basis. In situations where no BYOD program exists, one must ask why. The answer is simple: between the new hardware and the new software, the popularity and presence of technology in the consumer world has created a very large headache for those tasked with managing devices.
So what can be done? Must IT consider a mobile device management (MDM) solution or can they survive without it? Is BYOD management really as difficult as it sounds? Or is can the process be streamlined with ease?
Fresh answers for mobile hindrances
Smartphones, tablets and cloud services are the new IT tools of the BYOD era. We have transitioned from desktop to mobile device, an in turn device management has become a necessity instead of a convenience. A recent CIO article urges senior executives to use technology to maintain their competitive edge. Instead of downplaying technology, the author recommends that IT executives take fresh approaches to the nascent technology trends:
- Eliminate the mobile hardware costs by encouraging employees to bring their own devices and permitting them to connect to corporate networks with their devices.
- Promote and implement cloud-based storage and delivery solutions for 24 by 7 data access. Organizations must work with their third-party vendors to emphasize reliability and security of their data in the cloud.
- Involve your employees and ask them for suggestions on what applications may help them perform better. Use technology to boost productivity.
- Deploy an in-house team that works with vendors and pushes them to deliver mobile applications that nurture an organization’s performance. For example, customer impacting teams like Customer Support must be supplied with apps that provide real-time data about the development, feedback and resolution of reported cases.
In this article, Gartner adds simpler, constructive device management options to the above list:
- As part of the MDM strategy, enterprises must create three different buckets for their BYOD device types–a permitted list, a semi-supported list and a restricted list. This provides clarity and allows the employee to make a more conscious choice of his mobile computing device. IT, too, gets a clearer picture of their mobile ecosystem, which helps them ensure that they don’t over spend on their infrastructure and helps identify an appropriate MDM platform for their needs.
- As the enterprise space gets hit by a surge of mobile devices, mobile device data management becomes crucial. Thanks to apps, data resides not only on the devices but also in the cloud. Gartner points out that although IT may not benefitting from the cloud, device owners are actively using the Cloud data and storage services. Thus, in addition to an MDM solution, mobile application management (MAM) is mandatory.
IT can no longer be rigid, closed and inflexible. They must accommodate their employees’ needs because there is no other option. Apart from device management, IT must be cognizant of other threats lingering in the mobile ecosystem: data leakages, mobile security vulnerabilities, malware attacks, jailbroken and rooted devices… the list goes on. They must adopt best-of-breed solutions that benefit the enterprise and its mobile workers. Lastly, IT must consider including mobile expense management (MEM) solutions in their mobile strategy to ensure that mobile data expenses don’t diminish their mobile investments.
MaaS360 has helped many small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) harness the power of gadgets and cloud services to beat out the competition. Share your BYOD management concerns below and we would be happy to help you further.