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Mobile Device Management: Bring Your Own Device

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May 10, 2011

Mobile Device Management: Bring Your Own Device

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor


As enterprise mobility continues to expand in businesses worldwide, many corporations are looking to save capital or simply do not have the resources available to provide their employees with the ‘best-of-the-best’ in advanced equipment, such as smartphones or laptops. However, through a growing trend of bring your own device (BYOD) to work ideology , employees can now bring their own smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry, Android (News - Alert)) and tablets like Apple’s iPad 2 or Motorola Android Xoom to increase their productivity in the workplace.


Some enterprise IT departments are yet not as open to this idea as others are. Utilization of employee-owned devices can bring application content or security risks with them as well as obstacles in managing these devices that are all trying to connect to the same network. However, several analysts, including Gartner and IDC (News - Alert), predict that by 2014, 90 percent of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices.

Driving Forces to BYOD

Two main factors that have led to BYOD are consumerization of IT and the introduction of mobile-centric enterprises, according to a recent article on CNNMoney.com. MDM plays a driving role in ensuring the security and enterprise data boundary of “BYOD” employee devices.

The consumerization of information technology essentially means that in previous years, new products initially became popular within the consumer industry rather than the enterprise. Today, with products like Android-based phones and the iPad, more companies are using them for business-related practices than consumers are for day-to-day activities.

The majority of enterprises now utilizing mobile devices as the main form of communication are enabling this trend of bring your own device to the workplace to continue.  Select Fortune 100 is already taking advantage of this cost-savings great idea include Kraft Foods. Kraft is letting its 97,000 employees buy their own mobile devices or PCs even providing them with a stipend; Carfax is offering its employees interest-free loans, while Citrix Systems (News - Alert) (CTXS) is giving workers a reported $2,100 to choose their own tablet or PC.

Corporate information is quite valuable and a robust MDM approach ensures that information is cleanly removed—without removing employee information—if that employee leaves the company. Additionally, corporations can enforce their existing security or policy settings on a BYOD without impacting the employee applications. For example, certain enterprise apps are quite critical on a corporate or BYOD phone including tools that let salespeople see, collect and share geolocation information about customers in real time, according to a recent Gartner survey.

BYOD can also leverage a corporation’s cloud synchronization strategy to help all types of mobile devices to adjust accordingly to local information and applications with a Web-based, in-the-cloud service automatically. Information can easily be displayed including contacts, calendars, e-mail, text messages, pictures, videos, music and documents.

Companies that encourage policies like 'bring your own' will help to increase employee satisfaction rates and reduce their own capital expenditure rates on additional user devices. And users respond with increased productivity when given control over the smart device they chose to communicate and connect to the corporate network.


Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves







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