The Workplace of Tomorrow
Mobile devices are changing the way we work, and you'll shape the office in more ways that you know. Once you bring your smartphone to work -- what do you do? To start, IT departments will look to you for feedback on which apps you like most.
You'll have a say in teleworking policies, accounting and legal rules like, "Who pays for the data plan?" "What kind of social networking is appropriate?" and "Who keeps the phone number if you leave?" In short, it'll transform the way IT departments work and give you greater control of how you work.
Business apps is a $120 billion market this year, according to Gartner, and companies are looking to take advantage of the shift to mobile. In addition, three-in-four IT professionals say their companies plan to launch business apps in the next year, said mobile management firm Zenprise, ranging from document storage tools and collaboration platforms, like Google Drive, Dropbox and Basecamp.
You're also bringing more than just a phone to the office; you're bringing a conversation. Companies know you'll know what you like, so they'll look to you for ideas to help you do a better job remotely. You'll work together to create, educate and develop a strategy for a mobile solution -- so it's best to get familiar with some tools.
Google Drive lets you work with others on documents, spreadsheets and presentations -- all in real-time. Once you choose to share content with coworkers, you can add and reply to comments on PDFs, images, videos, among other files, and even receive notifications on shared items. Google Drive, which also provides storage, accessibility and search, is designed to work on-the-go on Android, but it's available on iOS as well.
Dropbox, meanwhile, takes the basic concept of storage and stresses simplicity. The idea is to give you access to files no matter what computer or device you're using, so you can access and share files with others. Files are stored with strong encryption on multiple servers, so you can get to files quickly and easily, and for the most part, elegantly from any Internet-enabled device. Dropbox, both a Web-based and downloadable service, is designed to work on Windows, Mac, Linux, as well as mobile devices like iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. Unfortunately, it only syncs files stored in a single dedicated folder, so if you want to use existing folders without moving them to a Dropbox directory, consider an alternative.
That may be Basecamp. Developed to support single and multiple projects, Basecamp can see everything that's going on at once, so corporate teams, clients, contractors and vendors can all work together on the platform, with controls on who has access to what material. By stressing collaboration, Basecamp's calendars and discussions are designed to keep you on topic, providing the ability to hash out details and include attachments to complete projects. When you keep files, everyone knows where they can find the latest version, with archives in case you need to pull up revisions.
Meanwhile, newcomer BigTinCan is building off its success with its Dashboard app. Touted as an all-in-one business solution for the mobile workforce, the company recently integrated third-party apps like SharePoint, Citrix, Outlook, SAP and Salesforce, among others, and added social and productivity layers its hub. The four-year-old Australian company also signed on several Fortune 500 companies.
The BYOD Nightmare
More employees than ever are using their personal phones and tablets for work, but the surge is creating security headaches for IT departments across the country. Personal mobile device use is moving from an occasional to a permanent fixture in the workplace, with more workers and businesses embracing the benefits. Still, using personal smartphone and tablets for work presents challenges for businesses, which are playing catch-up as they respond to the growing "BYOD", or bring your own device, trend.
It's not unusual to find employees using several types of mobile devices at the office, on the road or in remote locations for accessing corporate data and applications, regardless of whether employees or the company own the devices. But instead of standard-issue BlackBerry devices, companies are becoming increasingly open to letting employees use their own mobile phones and tablets for work.
In addition, the increasing numbers of "digital natives," who place a premium on technology and mobility -- and a growing number of workers pushing for telecommuting in the workforce -- are pushing the issue faster than enterprises are able to respond.
The growing popularity of BYOD benefits businesses in several ways: higher productivity, lower hardware costs and greater employee satisfaction, to name just a few. But smartphones are complex communication devices, and the security concerns are changing how businesses and governments think about these devices in the workplace.
What Are the Risks?
According to a new report from Juniper Research, BYOD users will more than double in the enterprise by 2014, when 350 million employees will use their own mobile devices, compared with 150 million today.
That may sound logical, convenient and even progressive, but it heralds a coming security nightmare for IT personnel, not so much because of a new suite of threats from mobile devices, but because the scale of the shift is putting incredible pressure on data management.
Security experts say the threats are similar to those that emerged when laptops become popular, such as spam, malware and phishing. But mobile phones are much more susceptible to theft and loss, and also could be an entry to financial data fraud because of their emerging use in retail payment systems. The result makes systems vulnerable to criminal hacking, which can target confidential data or interrupt core services. The possibility of these kinds of threats is motivating enterprises to take pause and balance security with the efficiency and productivity of mobile devices.
IT stakeholders are aware of the vulnerability, underscored by an research published by software-firm LANDesk. The survey of 200 IT professionals found 89 percent were 'concerned or 'very concerned' about the risks employees bringing their own personal mobile devices into the workplace posed to the security of company data.
This survey and others reveal that even when the IT staff responded to the problem, the suggested remedy isn't necessarily eliminating the problems. Part of this is because BYOD becomes particularly troublesome when employees have to keep corporate information and personal information separate on the same device. Employees want to do this because they can use one device for both work and personal reasons, but this challenges IT leaders trying to establish separate policies.
As a result, enterprise security teams are focusing on tools to distinguish between the two types of data and treat the information accordingly. In this light, security experts are tackling the problem not so much from a device perspective, but from a data point of view, and trying to rein in the corporate information shared between the enterprise and these new devices.
Still, problems persist. LANDesk found a little over 40 percent were unable to detect when personal devices accessed the network. The flood of new smartphones and tablets available contribute to the crisis, but a lack of planning to handle the deluge exacerbates the problem.
In addition to developing ways to separate corporate data from personal data, guidelines to help enterprises manage multiple mobile devices in the workplace are emerging: businesses are employing an agnostic operating system so employees can freely choose their own devices, providing remote wipe-and-locking capabilities to give IT departments control in case of loss or theft, stepping up and enhancing enforcement of password-protection procedures, offering over-the-air application installation, and updating and auditing devices to make management and upgrading easier.
Implementing these guidelines is proving difficult. Corporations are making strides in securing their data, but the response hasn't yet been swift enough to address security issues. Only about half of IT respondents said they could remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices and 47 percent could access control settings on the device remotely. This is especially troubling considering these are known threats, and experts expect security risks to grow in complexity as the prevalence of mobile devices grows.
Policies targeted just at smartphones or even specific phone devices will not be enough. A comprehensive mobile device management strategy that recognizes employees want the freedom and flexibility to choose their device can help push IT departments to streamline management and reduce the risks the entire issue poses.
The answer will likely center on a unified interface, one that works across the popular Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry platforms to better protect business information while giving mobile workers easy access to the information they need. Functions like creating and managing groups, managing user profiles, e-mail, document control, connectivity management for Wi-Fi and virtual private network connections, as well as the issue of provisioning personal mobile devices, will all be considerations.
The National Security Threat
Threats loom for government agencies, too, whose expansive and sensitive databases are tempting targets for hackers. The government is expanding its use of mobile devices in the workplace, but only about a third of agencies in the 2012 Federal Information Security Initiatives Trend Study reported having a strategy for monitoring those device, though 91 percent of them acknowledged having a policy in place governing their use.
"This is one of those places where the cost savings and the enthusiasm associated with an initiative got a little bit ahead of the technology being available to secure it," Karen Cummins, director of federal markets for survey-firm nCircle said to Homeland Security Today. "People started bringing their own devices and I think some agencies discovered that they had a bring-your-own-device program without necessarily realizing it."
But like their corporate counterparts, there aren't necessarily technologies available to fully support monitoring and compliance, even after agencies put policies in place for mobile device use. Both enterprises and government agencies are struggling to implement a comprehensive security strategy to manage the array of devices that increasingly access the network, and block those that shouldn't.
The tech industry's focus on specific aspects of security monitoring for mobile devices will be part of a comprehensive solution. As more tools emerge to differentiate data, and more security and enterprise features become standard on more devices, the IT community can get some help in tackling the issue.
These emerging tools will better arm IT organizations to dive into solving the problems BYOD trends are creating. As the mobile computing world continues to explode with a wide array of device options, those charged with securing enterprises and agency networks will face new complexities and potential security vulnerabilities.
The Push for a Mobile Workplace
The traditional workplace and the obligatory early morning commute are becoming things of the past, as more people and businesses rethink workers' need to head to a bricks-and-mortar office every day. For some time now, workers led the push, but businesses are beginning to embrace the trend, picking up on the benefits their increasingly tech-savvy employees are able to bring to the bottom line.
Still, as the idea become less novelty and more reality, workers and business owners alike face challenges in implementing mobile worker programs and are coming up with some innovate ways to do so. A recent Forrester Research's study revealed increasing numbers of workers use three or more devices at work, often paid for by the employees, who place a premium on mobility and social media in the workplace. Gen Y workers, in particular, want to conduct business using smartphones and tablets, rather than tethering themselves to a PC in a cubicle, part of a nationwide shift expected to have mobile broadband users surpassing PC users in the workplace by 2016.
Earlier this month, a Cisco study found 45 percent of the U.S. workforce now has a job that is suitable for either full-time or part-time telecommuting. This is good news to 6 in 10 college students and young professionals who also reported they feel like they have the right to work remotely on a flexible schedule.
One factor helping to validate the status of the remote worker is the growing number of established, traditional workers who are dipping their toe in the water and occasionally working from home. The trend of employees working somewhere other than an office is becoming so prevalent, underscored in part by the number of labels -- like telecommuting, mobile worker, and working remotely -- that are becoming commonplace in describing the activity. For example, an estimated 34 million people occasionally worked from home last year.
The success of these initial forays, combined with an emerging workforce with high expectations of how mobile devices can be incorporated into their careers, are getting business leaders' attention. One talent needed to become a "digital nomad" is the ability to work from wherever you find both caffeine and Wi-Fi, but often the road to being mobile worker is paved with a lot of hard work, difficult choices and trade-offs. That is true for both employees and employers.
The Mobile Enterprise Challenges
As working from home becomes more commonplace, remote workers remain worried that their nomadic workplace can put them in the position of being viewed as slackers, and the lack of "face time" with the boss can hurt their careers. Most businesses also aren't eager to up their IT spending, especially as concerns about the security issues and distractions that can go with mobile technology in the workplace persist.
Some telecommuters do, in fact, turn into slackers, take advantage of their situations and wind up getting fired, though this isn't a predicament unique to mobile workers. But remote workers often don't form strong emotional bonds with co-workers, and the issue of "face time" with senior managers is a legitimate concern when it comes to promotions and other negotiations, especially those that involve proving and perceiving provided value to a company.
A study finds by Kathryn Fonner, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Michael Roloff, professor of communication studies at Northwestern University found the answer to these challenges could be found in developing different communication strategies. For example, they found staying in constant touch via e-mail, meetings or other means doesn't boost telecommuters' or office workers' feelings of closeness to their co-workers, and too-frequent communication can lead to stressful interruptions, which can make teleworkers feel less attached.
Many managers overuse these tools to fight feelings of isolation and disconnectedness, unknowingly adding to the distress.
The professors maintain isolation is a myth, and simply looping remote workers into e-mail chains and conference calls does not necessarily make them feel part of the group. To help decrease mobile worker stress and increase organizational affiliation, the researchers suggest limiting mass e-mails, reducing the number of weekly meetings, creating information "stores" where employees can easily access information and "fostering an environment where employees can schedule uninterrupted time to work," according to the study, which appears in the June issue of Communication Monographs, published by the National Communication Association.
Incorporating organization, check-ins, conducive work spaces, and timing occasional breaks are one way to ensure success, and there are also collaborative tools and apps that can help.
RescueTime, a Web-based productivity tool, helps workers analyze and maximize their efficiency. The app for PCs and Macs measures the windows and programs, like Photoshop and Twitter, you actively use on your computer during a given time period. If you really need to dig into serious work without distraction, you can set the app to Focus Mode for a specified timeframe to block potentially distracting messages and sites and over time, its dashboard of graphs and timesheets can analyze how you spend your time at work. The lite version of the program is free and a Pro version costs $6 per month.
IDoneThis helps remote workers keep in touch with fellow colleagues, and rewards them for completed tasks. For $3 a month, the service sends an e-mail to each employee at the end of every day and workers can simply reply to that e-mail, detailing the projects you've tackled that day so that fellow co-workers can comment on and high-five your progress.
Work+, is another innovation, but so far only available in New York City. The free app takes you away from a sometimes stressful work location to another. Powered by Foursquare, Work+ searches for ideal work spaces, based on your specific criteria, like Wi-Fi, coffee, peace and quiet, and suggests nearby locations to suit your productivity needs.
Businesses are embracing remote workers because the absence of a traditional office environment and hours can increase efficiency and make employees happier and more productive. And, as both employees and employers navigate the opportunities and challenges in mobile technology's new paradigm, they will continue to transform the workplace as we know it.
The Challenges of Tablets
Tablets, which offer larger screens, more computing power and advanced graphics compared with smartphones, are ideal devices for business. Salespeople from medical, auto and educational industries, to name a few, are sitting down with clients to show products and services on tablets instead of traditional paper-based methods.
Just like with smartphones, your decision to bring tablets to work will push IT departments to adopt them. You'll have an understanding for when you'll need to pull out those devices in the course of the job. And by understanding what is available, and keeping up with what is coming down the line, you can help navigate your company's digital path.
If you need to work "on the spot," "in the field" and "in real-time," you likely already need a connection to headquarters to work remotely. The goal of IT departments is to adopt a mobile workforce and give employees new ways to do business, while keeping everything as secure as possible.
The benefits are too great to ignore. Some insurance agents, for example, drive to a client's home, snap pictures and measure storm damage, and transmit data back to headquarters for processing. Then they can print out an estimate of the repairs and a find a local shop to fix it, all on their mobile device. In the past, employees passively received technology from IT departments, but the personal devices is leveling the playing field in the workplace, giving you a greater voice in your company's decisions.
But tablets are proving a hard nut to track as mobile devices gain more traction in the enterprise market, and their unique capabilities are bringing special challenges to IT professionals, ranging from their place in the growing cadre of business tools to managing security.
These sleek, interactive devices entertain and engage us in living rooms, cars and waiting rooms, and are now following us into the workplace -- and the competition is heating up to provide full-functioning devices that keep our attention both at work and at play. Tablets are more than just laptops without screens or smartphones with larger screens, and IT administrators are scrambling to better understand and accommodate these devices' unique place.
According to an ABM study, which surveyed a small sampling of corporate executive managers, four-in-five respondents reported tablet usage is meaningful, but less than half say they have the understanding and the resources to charge into tablets on their own. It is as if the future of tablets is a little blurry. The devices stormed the market barely three years ago and sales have soared, but the idea of how they can complement a suite of business tools is only just emerging.
Preparation will be key. As enterprise IT professionals are working to implement plans to provide for a growing influx of tablets in the workplace, employees are embracing the trend of bringing their own devices to work, putting pressure on businesses to respond.
Tablets aren't simply mini-laptops, so it isn't as easy as extending laptop policies to these new devices. In addition to creating a solid business strategy for office equipment, IT professionals have to consider how personal tablet devices will fit into the scheme as well.
Tablets certainly have their advantages. People find them less cumbersome for on-the-go use, when compared to a laptop, and their note-taking, appointment functions, e-mail updates and online search capabilities are impressive. In addition, tablets almost universally offer better battery life than your garden-variety laptop, making them a more powerful mobile resource. And unlike smartphones, tablets come in all shapes and sizes, from the iPad to multiple Android devices, with their six- and seven-inch screens, to models with 10-inch displays or larger. But all tablets have some things in common.
First, they feature touch screens and they don't have integrated physical keyboards, although many will connect to external keyboards via Bluetooth. Some let you use a stylus, or offer docks with keyboards to turn the tablet itself into a small computer, complete with an external keyboard and mouse completing the package. And tablets often are reliant on apps for their software, since they often don't run the more robust productivity and word processing programs that offices have built their systems on for decades.
Tablets are often an additive cost for companies -- they aren't saving the cost of a laptop or PC, since tablets aren't able to completely replace them. In these tough economic times, many businesses are putting off this extra gadget purchase, betting the current equipment can work for the near term. Meanwhile, the technology isn't waiting and cutting-edge corporations are taking a closer look.
In this light, tablets will need to prove usefulness beyond being a tool for managers to look up facts and access files over the Internet during meetings, check e-mail and compose short messages. Inspectors, sales people and others who work on-the-go make a better case for the use of tablets because of their portability, but in an office setting, they have to offer more to gain traction.
The Current Offerings
According to research firm Strategy Analytics, almost 25 million tablets were shipped in the second quarter of 2012 alone, an increase of 67 percent over the same period in 2011. More than two-thirds were from Apple, with most Android devices making up most of the rest. Microsoft is also now gunning for the market with its new operating system, Windows 8.
Apple's iPad and tablets featuring Google's Android operating system offer enterprise capabilities as well as emphasize media uses like Web browsing, book reading and movie streaming, while BlackBerry and tablets expected to run the upcoming Windows 8 OS, are more akin to a very mobile computer.
Apple's iPad may reign supreme for personal users, but there is room for BlackBerry, Android and Windows 8, especially if they can show manageability and security, to challenge the leader in the enterprise setting. As far as connecting to other devices, the iPad can print only to an AirPrint-enabled printer, and then only if the app supports printing. A Windows 8 machine can print to any printer it can see on your network and it can also transfer files across the network, like any other Windows machine.
The iPad has the edge as far as apps go. While Google's Play offers a solid sampling of tablet apps, Windows OS trails substantially behind the competition. But the full version of Windows 8 runs all software from Windows 7, including the recently announced Microsoft Office 2013, which will work well with the touchscreen, giving an advantage when it comes to integrating into an office environment.
What's Coming Next?
Microsoft's Windows 8 OS is expected to be available for consumers next month, and the platform that is the norm on personal computers is getting a lot of attention and exposure from handset and tablet makers. And the Redmond, Wash.-based company is touting its own Surface tablet, expected to be launched for the holiday shopping season, adding to the buzz.
Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, ZTE and Samsung are hinting about plans to use Windows 8 in a slew of tablet offerings, which have the potential to shake up the tablet market in general as well as the devices' enterprise use. For example, Dell reports it is targeting its Windows 8 tablet to the education, healthcare and government markets, including features like a card and fingerprint reader.
Apple makes some bold claims about the iPad in the enterprise market, pointing out 94 percent of Fortune 500 companies have deployed or are testing it. Early adopters range in industries from healthcare to manufacturing, likely boosted by CEOs and workers who have personal experience with the iPad and use it for business. Of all the tablets, the iPad is probably the biggest beneficiary of the BYOD trend, since so many consumers have one.
Apple pioneered the tablet market, and its third-generation device debuted to massive excitement and sales when it came out in March. Now, rumors are swirling about the iPad 4, expected by most to arrive this spring, and its enterprise options will be crucial to continue its popularity and growth.
Not many expect a price deviation from the previous iPads, which would place the most affordable version at $400. Though the late Steve Jobs decried the use of a stylus, there are reports the iPad 4 could feature the tool, making it more desirable for those workers who use tablets as clipboards to click off patient, service and sales call information. Other whisperings suggest a greater use of haptic feedback, the slight buzzing that makes the touchscreen more responsive. While this could have personal-use applications, it also could be a good enterprise feature.
Google launched the Nexus 7, a smaller 7-inch screened device running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean software, a big step above the Honeycomb OS that held back previous tablets. Just a year ago, many predicted Android tablets would give iOS a serious run for its money, but Android tablets failed to make a much of dent into the iPad's lead, something Google said it plans to "double down" and achieve. A lot is riding on the Nexus 7 to start to turn the tide for Google and Android in the tablet wars, though it still faces challenges.
In enterprise, Google faces the extra challenge of IT professionals having difficulty with the complexities of managing the wide variety of devices and versions of Android's OS. A Gartner evaluation in April revealed almost 60 percent of enterprises plan to standardize on Apple's iOS in the next year, followed by 20 percent with BlackBerry, leaving only 9 percent choosing Android.
The IT Challenges
Just as consumers are shifting away from traditional desktops and even laptops, so are IT departments, who are facing significant challenges to ensure tablets, whether employee-owned or provided by the business, are secured and managed for enterprise use.
Many are starting with some basic assumptions, like the idea that all tablets are vulnerable and could be connected to unsecured networks and may need different levels of protection and control. And, IT departments recognize that even if the tablet is issued for business, it will be used for personal use, whether checking social networks, sport scores or online shopping. IT admins need to account for this usage in their security solutions, primarily by keeping personal activity separate from corporate.
Also, while there are those who are slipping their tablets to work in their purses and briefcases, there are other workers that might not want to subject their personal devices to the rigorous security measures many businesses are pushing for. Because of their expense and extensive personal use, many workers may hesitate at the thought of turning over device-wiping control, for example, to their employers.
Tablets' larger screens set them apart from smartphones. Employees are more comfortable, and potentially more productive, with tablets' mobility as it frees them a specific desk. Still, for those businesses that opt to go with devices without network connectivity, they do need widespread and reliable network access, so Wi-Fi would play an increasingly important role.
Tablet users in the workplace are likely to expect decent coverage everywhere, not just around desks and traditional work spaces. They want to access and share information with colleagues in the corridors, outside the buildings, and in the staff cafeteria. The video and teleconferencing ability of tablets could spur much broader adoption of visual communications. This use is also expected to have a massive effect on the size and performance of the network and could have a far more significant impact on the enterprise than either the desktop or laptop computer.
These collaborative expectations and potential appeal of tablets will place increasing pressure on business IT units to offer network coverage and fortify their infrastructure.
Savvy enterprise leaders will want to make sure they have a plan before rolling out the devices, understand what workers will use them for, make allowances for potential app integration issues, realize the devices' support and security needs and get rid of the notion that tablets are cheaper than laptops. Tablets are unique, and their possibilities and challenges both show that.
The Hidden Risks of Using Your Phone for Work
Excited to use your own smartphone for work? As a tradeoff, you're personal activities and whereabouts may be tracked. It sounds convenient, and makes sense to use one device for both work and play. But the idea could also spark privacy concerns as the borders between work and home become even more blurred and security measures for business spill over and cause personal complications.
BYOD policies are expanding at workplaces around the county as workers enjoy the convenience of using their personal smartphone or tablet at the office. Employers like BYOD as well, realizing it improves worker productivity and cuts costs from not having to issue corporate smartphones anymore. But the trend is raising concerns in IT departments, who are tasked with securing sensitive data on these devices. A breach on one phone can give access to the whole company's network.
In response, IT professionals are turning to Mobile Device Management, or MDM, solutions to corral these devices under one system -- but exactly how they are doing it could raise privacy concerns for employees and their personal data.
Many of these solutions focus on securing the device itself. They don't differentiate between a Facebook app, personal financial information, calendar details, work-related documents or access to corporate e-mail accounts. But by using your phone at work -- and consenting to MDM solutions -- you're also putting your personal information at risk.
The Business of Security
MDM systems are a way for companies to manage the growing number of Android, iPhone and Windows devices employees are bringing to work, so they can update apps, data and configuration settings all at once. They also help reduce costs for support, while adding a level of security across the network. As a result, the MDM market is growing, and products like Fiberlink, Airwatch, and MaaS360 are coming to market each month, giving IT departments an increasing array of options from which to choose.
Most people don't care which choice, but if you bring your phone to work, you'll likely be asked to install a MDM app on your phone. It'll connect your device to a server and provide corporate updates and security. But, it can also collect data about you as well. The policies give companies the authority and ability to delete personal files and content, along with corporate data, in a remote swipe if the device is lost or stolen. Some MDM apps can even track you, using GPS and location triangulation, or identify apps you've installed.
The Privacy Tradeoff
To secure personal devices, companies need to monitor it. But they're beginning to realize potential pitfalls of these policies. Businesses are granted considerable access to your personal information, and the extent of the authority is setting off alarm bells.
Fiberlink, an MDM vendor, recently commissioned a survey and found over four-in-five people consider location tracking to be an invasion of privacy. And three-in-four wouldn't want employers to see what apps they've install. Yet many MDM policies grant businesses exactly these capabilities.
The study reveals a potential backlash to the hype surrounding BYOD trends, as employees realize work and play on one device may give their bosses a way to track the websites they browse when they're off the clock. And if companies don't like what they see, they can delete your personal pictures, music and e-mails -- all in the name of security.
The Broader Trend
Over the next five years, two-in-three companies will add an MDM solution, according to research-firm Gartner, and businesses will have to grapple with the blurring line between personal and corporate devices.
"The era of the PC has ended. Employees are becoming more mobile and looking for ways to still be connected wherever work needs to be done," said Phil Redman, Gartner's research vice president. "The convenience and productivity gains that mobile devices bring are too tempting for most companies and their employees. Securing corporate data on mobile devices is a big challenge, but one that companies must embrace."
Following suit, last week the Defense Department, which places a premium on data security, expects to support eight million devices, including all department-issued mobile devices and computers, using MDM solutions.
Beyond businesses, institutions like schools are also wrestling with the problems of managing the influx of mobile devices. As mobile devices gain traction in education, schools are pushing to find solutions to control browsing on these devices. Just as businesses and agencies need to secure access to data, schools and parents are trying to manage multiple devices in the classroom.
The Growing Influence of Mobile Devices
At last count, there were more than 80 different MDM solutions. Not all of them track, but privacy concerns are still a major factor. The BYOD trend is expected to surge forward, and factors like compromising personal data and the increase in outside threats poses a problem. But solutions are evolving to address these challenges too.
Apple's cheaper iPad Mini and Google's Nexus 7, smaller full-functioning devices, are playing a role in keeping business and personal devices separate. But while they provide a lower cost and appeal to consumers, their biggest opportunity are in business markets. As BYOD gains appeal, it isn't as simple as originally thought.
Categories: Beyond Technology