According to analyst firm Flurry; activations of new iOS and Android devices hit 6.8 million on Christmas day, up over the average baseline by 353% and over Christmas day in 2010 by 140%. As a record number of new mobile devices hit the market, asignificant portion of those will also be used on corporate networks.
The increase in the number of mobile devices and the consumerisation of IT have resulted in a dramatic change in the enterprise IT landscape. Fifteen years ago the average IT manager controlled a network of desktop PCs, all running a standard operating system with specified programmes and applications.
Nowadays, the IT manager is charged with managing and securing a multitude of devices, including smartphones and tablets, all running various operating systems with a plethora of personal and corporate applications.
I recommend a 3-step approach to establishing an effective MDM policy that will help manage the influx of devices and protect sensitive corporate data.
1. Frame the organisation’s mobility needs
All businesses havevarying levels of mobility; however this is almost universally on the increase. It is expected that by 2013, 80 per cent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets and a significant number of organisations already issue or support smartphone use. With an MDM policy this can be extended to cover employee-owned tablets too.
2. Define the organisation’s security policy
The integrity of corporate data must be maintained, regardless of the device on which it is accessed. An MDM policy should determine the type of access permitted from specific devices, where and how information will be stored and what applications are supported. With a clear outline of the security policy, both employees and IT can work together to minimise risk and ensure compliance.
3. Offer implementable device management and support solutions
With an MDM policy IT can better manage a constantly evolving IT estate, offering support to a range of devices and platforms helping employees increase productivity on the device of their choice. In addition, IT organisations need to deploy technology toenforce such policies.
CIOs simply cannot afford to ignore the consumerisation of IT any longer. More and more consumer devices will make their way into the workplace, by maintaing an open-door policy IT can have greater visibility of the devices on the corporate network and put appropriate security measures in place. A well planned and implemented MDM policy will offer many benefits including cost and risk reduction, improved productivity and greater control for IT.