The BYOD magic bullets
Phil Parent investigates if the virtualised mobile phone is the answer to the consumerised workspace, or if it is just one more solution among manyBy Phil Parent, Auckland | Thursday, 20 September 2012
Like virtualisation, an MDM solution is based on a client-server architecture in which an agent is uploaded to the mobile device and then connects directly to the MDM server. However, unlike virtualisation, MDM does not address the ‘look and feel’ of enterprise applications on the various and sundry mobile devices. That being said, MDM can provide a secure BYOD environment without re-engineering the enterprise for virtualisation.
“Resellers need to understand all of the dynamics behind a client’s BYOD challenges before they can successfully help them implement a BYOD strategy,” says Jaynean Leaupepe, business development manager at Observatory Crest, the New Zealand distributor for MobileIron MDM solutions.
“How many devices are involved?" Leaupepe asks, hypothetically. "Which operating systems? What enterprise apps do which people access? There is a huge learning curve for resellers and, to add to the mix, new devices, upgraded operating systems and new applications are constantly being released. So, in the first instance, the reseller has to help the end user organisation define the scope of their BYOD engagement and then design the most appropriate management tools.”
MobileIron has developed an ‘Evaluation Checklist’ to help resellers cover all of the salient points when discussing BYOD options.
“At the heart of any MDM or BYOD implementation is the policy,” says Leaupepe. “You have to be able to define what your end users want to do and only then can you help them achieve the desired results. Our evaluation template walks users through the entire process and helps them decide on their options.
For instance, the IT team can limit the types or classes of mobile device that can tap into the network, sort of a ‘choose your own device’ instead of ‘bring your own device’. Not only does this help the IT team manage their BYOD rollout in an incremental manner but it also cuts down on help desk requests as well.”
Training is an essential component for resellers. “Our quarterly training sessions have been well-attended,” says Leaupepe. “We are seeing a lot of interest from resellers that want to improve their MDM sales and technical skills. Their clients are talking about their BYOD challenges and resellers are realising that there is a tremendous opportunity for offering solutions.”
Identity and access control
Managing the mobile device is one option. Managing the applications, especially in a cloud-based environment, is another. “Mobile device management is the first step in the process,” says Sean Kopelke,
Symantec's director of specialist solutions in the Pacific region. “Then you need to think about the applications. Native applications, those installed on the device itself, as well as cloud-based enterprise applications, need to be secured. We’ve just released a new solution set, called Symantec O3 Cloud Identity and Access Control, that enables a single sign-on across all web-based applications. This gives IT managers more control and provides a much more simplified process for the mobile users.”
“The key is to provide a simple, easily-accessible solution for both resellers and end users,” says Kopelke. “If BYOD is placed in the ‘too hard’ basket, then IT managers will lose control of the process.
Equally difficult is to try to implement an all-encompassing BYOD programme that covers every single contingency. At Symantec, we’ve developed a suite of BYOD and MDM security solutions that can be implemented incrementally - say a few key enterprise applications to begin - and then build on that foundation.”
The demand is there. “We recently had around 400 attendees for our Symantec Symposium 2012 in Auckland and Wellington,” says Kopelke. “And most wanted to know about securing mobile devices.”
Resellers that understand the opportunities, challenges and solutions of BYOD will do well but which is the best solution for their customers seems to be dependent on what the customer wants and needs.
BYOD with remain a hot topic for the foreseeable future, especially as the major players like Apple, Google and Samsung try to outdo each other in releasing new mobile devices. BYOD is happening even in organizations that don't officially allow it.
It's true that BYOD can offer many benefits, but it also brings with it security challenges and can be an IT management nightmare.
Here's a free white paper with suggested best IT practices for managing and succeeding with BYOD:
I work for Ericom
Posted by Adam at 04:09 on September 24, 2012
"Resellers that understand the opportunities, challenges and solutions of BYOD will do well but which is the best solution for their customers seems to be dependent on what the customer wants and needs."
Take the MDM Product Tour on MaaS360's website to see what has kept our solution ahead of the pack in satisfying customer needs.
Posted by Anonymous at 05:11 on September 21, 2012
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