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BYOD Agility Bends Towards Flexible MDM

The demand for a customized work experience through bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is rising.


BYOD Agility Bends Towards Flexible MDM

byod, mobile device management, policies

The demand for a customized work experience through bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is rising. It's not that employees want to bring their toys to work with them - they want to bring their favorite tools to use on the job, which may increase overall productivity. The issue is a little more complex for IT, due to the wide range of platforms and devices on the market.

According to a recent TechRepublic blog post, IT executives have mixed feelings about how to approach BYOD. The post quoted Adam Gerrard, CTO at The LateRooms Group, who discussed an advantage not every organization thinks about when considering BYOD.

"We actively encourage BYOD," said Gerrard. "With such a complicated array of devices available to consumers, a BYOD policy that provides control and security yet still offers enough flexibility to remain attractive means we have effectively amassed a large number of testers."

Other experts are taking a more cautious approach to BYOD by starting with small-scale testing and limiting the number of devices their organizations support. Brian Wells, associate CIO at Penn Medicine, told TechRepublic his organization stresses the importance of mobile device management (MDM). Features such as device tracking and remote wiping are essential to meeting compliance requirements.

The bottom line is there is not a "one size fits all" approach to managing BYOD, but there are solutions that are effective in providing a high level of flexibility, so organizations can adjust mobile device management strategies quickly and with the technology to support new policies and devices.

Enterprise mobility: Selecting a mobile device management solution
Businesses looking to take advantage of mobility have to be able to manage those devices effectively. While there are a wide range of solutions, not all of them can provide the level of flexibility and support to address the needs of the enterprise.

A recent ComputerWorld article written by Jack Gold, Principal Analyst at J.Gold Associates, stressed the importance of flexible MDM solutions and highlighted the advantages to enterprise mobility as a service solutions.

  • Faster implementation than traditional solutions, allowing organizations to adapt to changing demands more effectively
  • Scaling makes MaaS cost efficient because businesses are not locked into paying for infrastructure and services they aren't using
  • More flexibility and support for devices and platforms

"Enterprises will soon have a real choice between implementing internal, behind-the-firewall services for their mobile users and using alternative services offered by true EMaaS vendors," the article stated. "In some cases, a hybrid, internal/external approach will be the best fit. Ultimately, EMaaS will emerge as a strategic advantage for many enterprises."

Limiting mobile device management costs with policies
MDM technology is a good asset in helping organizations manage personal and company-owned devices, but it's important for business leaders to remember robust BYOD policies are still necessary for maintaining security and privacy. A recent survey by telecommunications expense management company Xigo and cosponsored by CCMI found many businesses are making significant strides in crafting effective mobile policies.

"BYOD is more prevalent than ever before, but corporate concerns about security and support are the main barriers to actual adoption,” said George David, president of CCMI. "That said, it is obvious that as more powerful and robust systems that address multiple Oss [operating systems] hit the market that the tide will turn even further toward either a hybrid or fully BYOD strategy."

Fifty-two percent of respondents said they have written mobile usage policies and require employees to sign, and approximately 67 percent use at least one mobile device management technology. Despite recent concerns that BYOD can be costly, 70 percent said their IT support costs haven't changed. Businesses can limit the costs of BYOD by crafting policies that clearly outline the responsibilities of the employee and the responsibilities of the business.

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