The influx of personal mobile devices in the workplace is no secret. Due to rapid advancements in smartphone technology, individuals now have the ability to run business-critical applications, manage sensitive enterprise data, and leverage next-generation communications technology on a device that fits into their pocket. The bring your own deice trend is a product of users becoming more comfortable with these devices and demanding to use their tablet or smartphone of choice to carry out duties inside and outside the office.
Personal mobility, of course, poses a number of security problems for organizations, particularly when it comes to the storage and transfer of sensitive company data. Thus, mobile device management (MDM) solutions have emerged to address the cost, security risk, and usability challenges brought about by enterprise mobility. Like any fledgling technology, however, there are some growing pains.
According to ESG, an integrated IT research, analysis, and strategy firm, less than half (48 percent) of enterprises with more than 1,000 employees have even deployed an MDM solution, of which only 43 percent have selected a single product as their enterprise-wide standard. Moreover, about a third of these enterprises report experiencing difficulty with MDM implementation and operation, with 30 percent saying that MDM features and functionality work differently on different types of mobile devices and 35 percent reporting that they have experienced scalability problems when attempting to support a large number of mobile devices.
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ESG Senior Principal Analyst Jon Oltsik believes these figures are an indication of the market’s immaturity: “Enterprise organizations are finding it cumbersome to deploy, operate, integrate, and scale MDM, which reinforces that MDM is still in the “point tools” phase of its lifecycle,” he writes in a recent blog post.
Nevertheless, he goes on to note that there some advanced MDM providers that are far ahead of the curve in this regard.
“I’ve heard some compelling use cases from customers of Good Technology (News - Alert) and MobileIron who’ve progressed well beyond basic MDM implementation and usage and are doing incredible things with mobile computing overall,” Oltsik writes. “Nevertheless, these firms represent the leading-edge of the market – a small minority of the total.”
This observation underscores the importance of choosing the correct MDM vendor when looking to secure a BYOD environment. For example, as TMCnet recently covered, some mobile security solutions do a very poor job at segregating personal and enterprise data, and often lack the ability to perform partial device wipes. This breeds discontent amongst workers, and could ultimately cause a BYOD program to backfire.
Thus, when it comes to the security of sensitive data and access to business-critical applications, it is crucially important that an organization turn to one of these leading-edge vendors. Enterprise mobility is only going to expand, so to get the most out of what BYOD and mobile computing can offer, do not take any chances with your MDM solution.
Edited by Alisen Downey