Consumerization, BYOD, managing mobile devices and the cloud have been hot topics for IT professionals this year, and there has been a lot to keep up on.
Mobile devices and operating systems kept the bring your own device (BYOD) trend going strong and begged questions about how best to handle mobile strategies, mobile device management (MDM), workers' cloud use and more. Keeping tabs on all that info isn't easy, but searchConsumerization's expert contributors have spent 2013 doing just that -- and passing what they know on to IT pros like you. Read up on the year's ten most popular tips:
10. Eight iOS 7 features for IT
Apple's iOS 7 came out this year and brought with it some new tools for managing mobile devices and applications. Managed open in, per app VPN (virtual private network) access, an improved Volume Purchase Program and an updated MDM protocol can all help IT administrators retain control over iOS devices.
9. Which mobile OSes are the most manageable?
It's almost impossible to support every mobile operating system that's out there, but some have stronger management and security features than others. Consider which OSes have native tools for managing mobile devices and security capabilities such as encryption, then choose which OSes to support.
8. Avoiding BYOD pitfalls
If your company allows users to bring their personal devices to work, find ways to avoid some common mistakes. For example, don't go without a BYOD policy, don't focus solely on managing mobile devices and don't dream of banning BYOD outright.
7. Comparing cloud storage services: Box vs. Dropbox
Dropbox and Box are two of the most popular cloud storage services. They're similar in many ways, but there are some key differences. Though both services use a freemium model that scales to business class, each provider has different features and prices.
6. Why corporate-owned devices could make a comeback
The COPE model is emerging as a viable way for companies to retain some control over devices. "Corporate-owned, personally enabled" device distribution models let workers use consumer mobile devices that make them more productive, but the devices are deployed by IT, giving you some more oversight.
5. What you can and can't do with Exchange ActiveSync
You can use Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to give workers access to their corporate email accounts, calendars and tasks on their mobile devices, but the protocol has some limitations that don't make it a candidate for full MDM.
4. How data protection and iOS encryption work
Apple's data protection and iOS encryption make a great team for keeping data secure, but workers need to have the right settings enabled on their devices. If users don't use data protection on their iPhones and iPads, all iOS encryption does is make devices easier for IT to wipe.
3. The good, the bad and the ugly of Surface RT
Microsoft's Surface RT tablet has some pros and cons. The tablet has good battery life and it comes with Office, but apps and performance leave something to be desired.
2. Android vs. iOS in the enterprise
The most recent versions of Google's Android operating system have come with some security improvements such as device encryption, but Apple's iOS still has better overall security for enterprise purposes.
1. MDM checklist
One of the best ways to ensure the success of your mobile initiative is to have a well-thought-out mobile device management strategy. Take a look at this checklist of features and functions that you should consider when crafting your strategy for managing mobile devices.
This was first published in December 2013