May 312012
 

Consumer driven mobile devices and applications in the corporate landscape are everywhere. It’s causing uproar in some circles. Information technology professionals are playing catch-up to re-gain control. Employees are not waiting. Millions of iPad tablets and smartphones are coming onto the corporate network.

It is crucial for IT shops to have a well implemented strategy that supports BYOD, Bring Your Own Device. The days of all employees having the same corporate provisioned mobile device and notebook computer are ending. With the end, comes the challenge for IT shops to move rapidly. Even if you’re with a small firm or are an entrepreneur, these principals apply for the same reasons of security and management. I believe these elements form a viable Action Plan for IT organizations.

 

Action Plan for IT Organizations
1. Start with Mobile Device Management
2. Lockdown Tablets and Smartphones
3. Consolidate Mobility Projects
4. Monitor and Manage Corporate Data on employee devices
5. Have a Device Inventory
6. Accommodate more than one device per person
7. Focus on full life cycle approach with Enterprise Mobility Management capabilities

 

Mobile Device Management (MDM) is more than a corporate app store. When specifying requirements for MDM acquisition, it’s important to look for capabilities to manage the data on the devices and access to data in the corporate data stores.

The Lockdown piece is a mandatory requirement that the device owner use passwords and the central IT administration be able to wipe the device in case it is lost or stolen.

Too many mobility projects sprawled out across the corporate landscape will lead to duplicative efforts that need to be managed anyways. Useful guidance under IT Service Management (ITSM) is a best practice used by leading IT organizations.

The monitoring and management of corporate data on the devices should be done separately from personal data. Many architectures, processes, technologies like HTML5 versus native device applications or hybrids are gaining acceptance as solutions. We’ll be revisiting these elements in future blog posts. Enabling these capabilities and automating the management and monitoring of private and corporate data are two aspects needed at the beginning.

Knowing how many devices each employee has is important and what is in their hands is important to see the picture of the risk landscape. Basic fundamentals.

Finally, the enterprise mobility management (EMM) element is a focus on the full mobile lifecycle approach: when managing the device it’s not enough, but also required is managing the mobile data, and the access. All corporations with a handle on directory services and identity and access mechanisms will be at an advantage in support of the mobile strategy.

All IT organizations know their mobility strategy must enable the business drivers underpinning the increased demands of mobile device warriors. Effective IT organizations will implement a mobile strategy that will contain these action items. Non-effective IT organizations trying to somehow muddle through without a mobile device strategy run at great risk that their employees will inadvertently expose corporate intellectual property, trade secrets, or vital plans.

How much longer can the IT department sustain the risk of heightened exposure of being out of compliance, breaking the law, or harming the firm’s reputation?

Do you agree with this action plan? I welcome your comments here.