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Mobile Device Management No Longer an Option, Now a Requirement


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July 02, 2012

Mobile Device Management No Longer an Option, Now a Requirement

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

As the bring your own device (BYOD) trend gets more popular, companies around the globe who haven’t already realized the vitality of a mobile device management solution are in for a rude awakening. By allowing employees to use a device for both business and personal use – even though it allows businesses to control costs – it also introduces an array of challenges that must be overcome.

A recent study by Accenture (News - Alert) drives home this sentiment as around half 4,000 survey participants revealed that they now use their personal devices at work at least sometimes.

 "The genie is out of the bottle, and CIOs have to quickly adapt and respond," Accenture Executive Research Fellow Jeanne G. Harris said in a statement.

It is vital that executives realize that this trend is here to stay, taking the necessary steps to deal with any obstacles that may come with it.

Phil Easter, director of mobile strategies at American Airlines, has taken the mobile bull by its horns and has developed a next-generation infrastructure that will enhance the way in which mobile applications can be leveraged in a corporate environment.

Consisting of three-tiers according to an InformationWeek piece, the first tier encompasses big databases that contain financials, inventory control and customer data, and the second includes corporate policies. These policies typically consist of security, user access, privacy, and compliance controls.

The third tier acts as the presentation layer, where user interfaces are developed mainly for mobile devices.

With this solution in place, an American Airlines flier can use a mobile app to view their current flight data and even get in touch with customer service if they select to make a flight change – all while flying at around 35,000 feet and completing work-related projects.

Although the tiered approach is nothing new, this plan has been completely revolutionized due to the fact that enterprise applications were once bundled into a single offering, while now they are each different elements.

“The one-size-fits-all approach to application development and deployment is withering in the face of a generation raised on the app store model,” the piece stated, “That ‘try one’ mentality runs counter to the process for corporate apps such as e-mail, rolled out over a period of years and updated on the vendor's schedule, rather than the users'.

Mobile applications are especially suited to this app store model, as companies increasingly comprise full-time, part-time and contract workers, all needing separate levels of corporate data access.

MobileIron, an icon in mobile device management, has highlighted eight factors for successful BYOD strategies to assist corporations in leveraging this trend: device choice, user experience and privacy, trust mode, app design and governance, liability, economics, sustainability and internal marketing.

BYOD holds tremendous promise across multiple dimensions. The best results to come from a well-designed BYOD program is driving employee satisfaction and productivity, while increasing the rate of technology adoption in the enterprise.

"The growing ability of employees to bypass their IT departments and create their own technical solutions is eclipsing the IT function's role as the source of technological innovation in the organization," the Accenture study concluded. "It's not hard to understand why employees are moving in this [consumerization] direction. Sidestepping enterprise IT and using your own devices and applications is usually easier, more fun and, let's face it, often cooler than using what the IT department doles out."

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Edited by Braden Becker

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