Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Changing Face of Smartphones and Tablets

Author Bio: 
Tanya is an avid technology blogger and writes extensively about Communication technologies She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

Tablets and smartphones are no longer just consumer-oriented devices. They have now altered the landscape of the enterprise in a very basic way. Modern employees insist on the ability to work wherever and whenever they want, and the promise of mobility has enabled that for them.

Yet with this rise of mobile devices, at one time consumer-focused, IT is now presented with a whole new set of challenges. They now need to concern themselves with things such as mobile apps, who gets to see what data, when, where, and on which devices. A good mobile application management program (MAM) takes most of the sting out of this process.

The Management Market Evolves
For many years, BlackBerry was the king of the corporate mobility market, by offering IT control through the BlackBerry Enterprise Service. This was a level of control that iOS, Android and the Windows Phone each lacked. Soon, however, the sheer number of mobile devices flowing into the market gave rise to a number of new technologies to handle compliance and security concerns. Mobile Device Management (MDM) was the start of it, but that's been supplanted by a more robust, holistic way to look at the issue of enterprise mobility, called Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM).

Management Strategies Begin to Change
Unfortunately, there is only so much that an enterprise can do to lock down a device. Inevitably, they are either stolen or lost, and there's always the threat that a user is going to root or jailbreak their device to get access to low-level, more powerful functions. Therefore, the focus is changing from managing the devices themselves to managing the data on those devices, and the apps used on them.

Enterprises have several options when it comes to managing data.

●   Sandboxing (also known as containerization) enables a user to have a separate "box" in the device's memory to keep organization data distinct from personal data. In other words, there would be two email clients running at the same time, in different containers.

●  Dual persona is somewhat similar, where IT grants both a profile for work and a personal profile on the same device. If an employee happens to leave the company, the work profile can be wiped without harming personal data.

●   Mobile Application Management (MAM) enables IT to administer the access and data inside applications that run on company-controlled mobile devices. As organizations learn more regarding how mobility can accelerate their business processes and make their employees more productive, then releasing the newer capabilities of mobile apps and the means needed to manage those apps becomes crucial.

What About BYOD?

So what about Bring Your own Device? It still seems to be a mystery to many businesses, despite years of practice and refinement. How an IT shop takes on the BYOD challenge really varies, depending on the nature of the business. Many corporations that are in regulated industries can't allow the freedom of a full BYOD adoption, yet others that are not can do just that.

Still another way of approaching BYOD is the COPE method — corporate owned, personally enabled devices. This method gives users a variety of devices to choose from, that can be operated just as if they were BYOD devices. Oftentimes, this can be much more cost-effective than regular BYOD, since organizations can purchase devices straight from partnered OEMs at bulk discounts.

Good, strong BYOD policies can provide direction both for end users and IT administrators alike on the best methods for using personal devices in the workplace. Realizing that finding that balance presents challenges and opportunities, the admins must align the needs of the end users with the needs of the organization.

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