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Mobile Device Management Solutions Must be Able to Adapt to New Platforms


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August 07, 2012

Mobile Device Management Solutions Must be Able to Adapt to New Platforms

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor

The utilization of mobile device management will only continue to ramp up as the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend continues to spread like a highly contagious cold. BYOD initiatives, which allow employees to use their devices of choice for both personal and corporate use, require mobile device management offerings to be implemented to ensure a high level of security is enacted at all times.

But, what happens when new platforms are continuing to be adopted by users such as iOS and Android (News - Alert) while others are virtually fading away like Blackberry? For a MDM product to work to the best of its ability, it must be able to change with the times.

A recent article revealed that the best bet for companies is to prepare for whatever the future may hold by detailing a plan of action similar to what Boston-based Suffolk Construction Com. did. The firm, who has been a RIM customer for over a decade, will now be transitioning a majority of its employees to iPhones by the New Year.

Some key elements any company should closely analyze when devising this plan include: renegotiating mobile plans, deactivating unused Blackberrys, and securing iOS and Android platforms and policies around app downloads, according to the piece.

"Blackberrys were corporate issued and policies were set... before apps existed," Dave Snow, chief marketing officer at Xigo said in a statement. "Now what's happening is, as new devices are coming in, it's forcing organizations to look back and reflect on these policies and how they're going to act going forward."

 Additionally, as iPhones, iPads, and Android devices are now the most popular devices of choice amongst most employees, it is important that companies instill an infrastructure that will allow employees who have more than one personal device to all work seamlessly.

"We're starting to see a full transition to fully corporate-issued iPhones and iPads and Android devices, and it's a catalyst to get companies to ratify expense and security polices," Snow commented. “They need a consistent set of policies on expense management and security and how they're going to let users use these devices."

 Just allowing users to access e-mail and their contacts from wherever they may be is no longer sufficient and businesses must realize that smartphones and tablets are now crucial technology to the overall success of any organization.

"They're transactional devices, they access the network [and they] contain key customer and business information, so they're full-fledged citizens on the corporate network. So in that context [customers] say, 'We can't afford for things to go wrong any more'" when it comes to a lost or stolen device or app that might not work properly, because that could effectively put an employee out of work for that day,” he added.

 When enabling employees to leverage additional platforms, also be sure to look into the details such as expense, security policies, and applications—all of which ultimately will shape a businesses’ plan now and in the near future.

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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