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Enterprise mobile management's evolution

As organizations plot their BYOD and MDM strategies, mobile application and information management will soon factor into the enterprise mobile equation.

BYOD and mobile device management dominate the enterprise mobile headlines these days, but in the future they will merely be parts of a larger discussion.

The bring your own device (BYOD) trend has forced business leaders, CIOs and IT professionals to reexamine their approach to smartphone and tablet use in their organizations. With security concerns and control issues fresh in their minds, mobile device management (MDM) is a natural response. Over time, as mobile application management (MAM) and mobile information management (MIM) technologies mature, they will offer additional ways to enable secure enterprise mobility.

Where we are

1. The role of MDM today

When organizations need to get a handle on employees' smartphone and tablet use, mobile device management is often the first technology they turn to. MDM may not solve all security problems, and it can actually diminish some of the benefits of an enterprise mobile initiative. But it's a good starting point, and it's still an important part of an overall enterprise mobile management strategy.

  • Mobile device management pros and cons

    MDM lets IT administrators control what users can and can't do on their smartphones and tablets, enforce policies, and provide secure corporate network access. It can't protect against all potential attacks and data leaks, however, and support for new operating systems often lags. IT decision makers will have to weigh these pros and cons when deciding what role MDM will play in their organizations.

    Tip

  • Planning for MDM: A checklist

    Mobile device management products offer a plethora of specific features, from device inventory to user authentication to data encryption. They're not all necessary in every case, but they deserve consideration. This checklist makes sure nothing falls through the cracks.

    Tip

  • How to evaluate mobile device management products

    After determining organizational requirements, the next step is to find out which mobile device management products meet this criteria. Application deployment capabilities and security features are two of the most important factors in choosing the right MDM product. Broad device support and integration with existing systems should also be part of the equation.

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  • Managing mobile devices with Exchange ActiveSync

    One mobile device management product that most IT departments already have at their disposal is Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync. This feature of Exchange Server is known for delivering corporate email and calendars to most major smartphones and tablets, but it also offers some device management capabilities, such as policy enforcement and remote wipe. Several advanced MDM features are missing, however.

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  • MDM's role in overall mobile strategy

    MDM -- or any three-letter acronym, for that matter -- shouldn't be the focus of an enterprise mobile strategy. In this podcast, analyst Jack Gold says it's better to focus on data and applications and their secure delivery to mobile devices. Then, choose the combination of technologies that best meets that goal.

    Podcast

How we got here

2. How BYOD fits in

The term bring your own device has two meanings. In general, it refers to the trend of employees using their personal smartphones and tablets for work tasks. This trend is happening everywhere, with or without IT approval. But BYOD can also refer to an employer-approved program that allows IT to manage, secure and enable productivity on personally owned devices. There's a lot of hype around this approach, and although much of it is warranted, there are plenty of problems just waiting to pop up.

  • Is managing BYOD policy a waste of time?

    If you ask three different people if BYOD is important or if there are bigger fish to fry, you'll get three different answers. How do we know? Because we did. Three mobility experts discuss the role of the CIO in managing BYOD and the potential for a new position, that of chief mobility officer, to emerge.

    CIO Opinionators

  • BYOD vs. COPE: The great device-ownership debate

    It's also important to remember that BYOD isn't your only option when it comes to an enterprise mobile initiative. The corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) model is gaining steam as a more IT-friendly alternative. It harkens back to the days when companies bought devices for their employees, but it's more lenient in terms of the personal tasks users can perform on the devices.

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  • Going beyond security with a BYOD strategy

    Security gets all the attention in the BYOD and MDM discussion, but a strong bring-your-own-device program focuses on other issues as well. Organizations also need to cultivate executive buy-in and a sense of responsibility among participants to drive end-user satisfaction.

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  • How does BYOD cost sharing work?

    Business execs and IT managers who view BYOD as a way to save money aren't looking at the whole picture. Organizations may save money on device purchases, but the costs of supporting and managing a wider variety of platforms could very well increase. Plus, if IT wants to exert some control over personally owned devices, employees may expect the company to pick up part of the tab -- and setting up a cost-sharing plan isn't easy.

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  • What not to do when allowing personal devices

    Expecting to save money is just one mistake organizations make when adopting BYOD. Others include skimping on policy and managing devices with too heavy a hand. BYOD can help increase employee productivity, but it's also a trend fraught with potential pitfalls.

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  • BYOD challenges: To network security and beyond!

    Embracing BYOD can have a snowball effect. Enough employees already use their mobile devices for work, so imagine how many more will when it's officially sanctioned. This exponential growth can lead to unexpected challenges around network security, infrastructure scalability and service-desk overload.

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Where we're going

3. The future of enterprise mobile management

BYOD and MDM are the basic issues and technologies organizations deal with as they adopt mobility. After getting a handle on cost, management and security, it's time to really reap the benefits of smartphones and tablets. Enterprise mobility management (EMM) involves MDM and other security measures, but it's more about enabling mobile workers by giving them the tools they need to do their jobs better.

  • Your EMM options: Mobile device, application and information management

    Ultimately, the most common approach to enterprise mobile management will involve a combination of MDM, MAM and MIM. Before heading down that road, it's important to understand each component's features, benefits and weaknesses.

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  • Choosing the right enterprise mobility management approach

    Mobile computing consultant Benjamin Robbins cuts through the alphabet soup of enterprise mobile management in this interview. IT administrators should worry less about three-letter acronyms and more about their mobile data security needs, he says. MDM, MAM and MIM can all help address those needs in different ways.

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  • Combining MDM and MAM tools for a one-two punch

    Mobile application management can fill in some of MDM's holes and supplement some of its features. Whereas MDM doesn't offer granular control over application usage, MAM does. It can also help MDM software identify and prevent access to unauthorized apps.

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  • How enterprise app stores play into MAM strategy

    Enterprise app stores give IT more control over mobile application deployment and can be an important component of an overall MAM strategy. Whether they're the right fit for every organization, however, depends on the number of mobile workers and their specific app needs.

    SearchCIO.com Expert Take

  • Can mobile device virtualization enable BYOD?

    Another MAM approach involves mobile device virtualization and other dual-persona technologies, which create two separate environments on one device: one for work and another for personal life. It aims to eliminate the problems that come up when IT has control over personal assets, such as music libraries and photos. But mobile virtualization can make employees' devices less easy to use and take away other benefits of mobility.

    News

How much do you know?

4. Mobile data security quiz

Security is at the heart of all enterprise mobile initiatives, from BYOD and MDM to more advanced projects. Test your knowledge and get additional resources to beef up your organization's mobile data security.

Mobile data security quiz: Test your knowledge

What does that mean?

5. Enterprise mobile management glossary

With so many enterprise mobility terms being tossed around, it can be hard to keep them all straight. These definitions will help you figure everything out.