TMCnews Featured Article
March 26, 2012
Mobile Device Management for the Android - An Investment Worth the Rewards
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
With around 850,000 Android (News - Alert) devices being activated every day, IT staff members are beginning to realize that they need to adapt mobile device management for the Android just as they did for the iPhone (News - Alert). Why does it matter? Employees are bringing their own devices to work, while also using these devices to access the network. Without clear guidelines in place, the network could be at risk.
A recent white paper explored mobile device management practices that help to secure and monitor devices deployed on a network. The importance of developing mobile device management for the Android cannot be understated. The planning of management for the Android involves a careful balance between how the worker wants/needs to use the device, and what IT requires for security and performance issues.
One of the challenges in developing mobile device management for the Android is fragmentation. Complexity and uncertainty are often paired with fragmentation as it can slow the integration of Android into the enterprise. Many manufacturers, including HTC (News - Alert) and Samsung, find the Android appealing, mostly because of its licensing model.
And there are hundreds of Android precuts on the market today – even the Kindle is a specialized Android device. But each competitor tweaks their interface to make themselves unique in the market, and it can cause headaches for IT as they plan for mobile device management. To seemingly exacerbate the issue, Android has made encryption available. This causes further fragmentation issues.
The “easiness” of iOS mobile device management was due mostly because it has a single source of curated applications. The Android has many sources. To make the Android ready for the workplace, IT staff needs to consider a few things as they develop a mobile device management outline. First, they should designate an Android expert on staff.
The Android is a consumer-driven product and the platform changes often and quickly. The Android expert should follow these changes. Before the mobile device management plan is deployed, this person should be appointed and ready for action. IT must also understand the community of users and their needs. What carriers are they choosing, and which device do they have? What apps are they using most? Do they have problems with malware?
What are the baseline capability requirements? This is an important step in keeping the integrity of your network, and enterprise information, secure. Users should be set up to remote lock and wipe their devices should they become lost. Direct app installation is also helpful in establishing “app inventory” that helps to protect against apps that are engineered to do damage.
Mobile device management is crucial in this day and age when everyone is wired 24/7 with their own personal devices. Investing some time in planning how to avoid situations pays off in the end.
Edited by Jamie Epstein