Mobility has become mainstream in businesses across Australia, and nobody seriously questions the need for business people to own a tablet. The real question is how many devices and gadgets do you really need to work effectively?
The consumerisation of mobile technologies is a worldwide phenomenon that has heavily impacted enterprise IT departments. Companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, RIM, and Nokia are fighting for dominance in the mobile space, and rapid innovation has shifted the conversation to the mobile user experience.
Businesses embracing the mobile and tablet culture to stay productive are facing challenges in managing data and information security. Without the involvement and supervision of corporate IT departments, consumer devices being used by employees to access corporate data can pose serious risks. Apart from the possibility of device theft or accidental loss, third party software applications might introduce malware into the business, or access corporate data.
Faced with these types of threats, IT departments have traditionally managed the risk by issuing company owned devices from an approved vendor - such as Apple, Google, or Microsoft.
Unfortunately, this does not stop employees from bringing their own devices to work. IT teams now have to provide support in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) work environment. When an employee decides to buy a new personal tablet or mobile, you can be sure that managing and controlling enterprise data is not a high priority shopping criteria. In the end, it will be an issue that the IT team will be forced to solve.
Integrated Mobile Device Management is the key
Enterprise IT teams can now manage mobiles and tablets through Mobile Device Management software. Mobile Device Management offers over-the-air provisioning of devices, the remote wipe of sensitive data, and restrictions over app installations and deletions.
These types of technologies are already popular in many schools that teach using mobile devices. They scrutinise access to certain sites thereby restricting the ones that are outside the realm of educational purposes.
Many of the Mobile Device Management tools available at the moment are standalone tools that are not integrated with Desktop Management Solution or other enterprise management systems. This forces IT support teams to switch back and forth between multiple systems to look at employee’s Desktop/ Laptop configuration and Mobile configurations.
The current generation of management tools are not perfect, but they do provide a workable set of initial capabilities.
Undoubtedly, as the support demands placed on IT teams by tablets and mobiles increase, Mobile Device Management will have to be integrated with Desktop Management to improve efficiency, and simplify administration.
Alex D Paul is the Director of ITSM Products at ManageEngine
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