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Businesses need a flexible mobile strategy, experts say

Enterprise mobility has required IT to adopt to a larger range of devices, and trends like bring-your-own-device have put even more pressure on IT to provide robust application and device support.

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Businesses need a flexible mobile strategy, experts say

apps, byod, productivity


Enterprise mobility has required IT to adopt to a larger range of devices, and trends like bring-your-own-device (BYOD) have put even more pressure on IT to provide robust application and device support. As the role of enterprise IT evolves, it is important to integrate mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) solutions as part of an overall mobile strategy, according to a recent InformationWeek article.

The article highlights advice from Phil Easter, Director of Mobile Strategies at American Airlines, who explained a three-tier strategy for introducing mobile applications. The first tier is composed of big databases such as those supporting financials, inventory control, and customer data. The second is the service layer, which is composed of company security and other policies, and the third tier consists of elements such as the user interface.

To successfully implement this approach in today's enterprise requires a different style of thinking from traditional strategies, according to the article. IT leaders must think of mobile device management in terms of a larger strategy that not only accounts for a large variety of platforms, but also supports a wide range of employees—employees who require different levels of access to company data.—

Mobile device management strategies require agility

The article calls for more agility in terms of mobile applications to account for the wide range of needs in the corporate workforce. Employees are used to being able to experiment with different apps in their personal lives, and they're starting to expect the same level of flexibility at work. An effective MDM strategy allows for employees to use the productivity tools that work well for them, while still securing sensitive enterprise data. According to InformationWeek, "a rigorous 'no way' strategy risks the IT department being seen as the stifler of innovation and a roadblock to company growth."

MDM and MAM must dovetail with user awareness, says IDC

A recent eWeek article highlighted points made by IDC's report “Enterprise Mobile Device Security: Development Guidance to Tackle the Mobile Security Minefield." According to the report, MDM solutions will play a crucial role in the in the mobile enterprise environment. However, mobile strategies should not be about simply locking down employees and limiting access.

"Nonetheless, it is not all about installing stringent mobile security features. As cliché as it may sound, we—device owners and end-users—are typically the weakest link when it comes to information security,” said IDC associate director of financial insights Li-May Chew, who was quoted in the article. "It is thus up to enterprises to increase employee awareness of these threats and introduce programs to inculcate secure practices in the work environment."

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