The IL vs. CL Debate

By Albert Subbloie  |  Posted 2010-01-12 Print this article Print

The IL vs. CL debate

Here is how the debate generally seems to rage: If an employee is responsible for the purchase and monthly fees associated with a standard cell phone (aka, a "dumb" phone), the enterprise has no claim on the device type purchased and the device has no data connection to the enterprise. If, however, the employee wants to access the enterprise data stream (e-mail and applications) via a self-owned or IL smartphone, the organization is well within its rights to require the use of a preferred smartphone equipped with corporate-selected data and network security software.

Put simply, a device connected to the corporate network will be monitored and managed by IT. Without that control, the device will not be granted access. While the employee owns the phone, the enterprise owns the corporate data and applications that reside on the device.

What about "the iPhone factor"? That is, should an organization allow users access to the corporate network on a device of the consumer's choosing in the name of productivity and perceived cost savings despite the disparity in security, data and network administration?

To reiterate, not all smartphones are equal when it comes to enterprise management and policy administration (as evidenced by the gap between BlackBerry and iPhone devices). Yet, the desire on the part of the user to drive choice-the "consumerization" of devices-has and will continue to pressure enterprise support. Companies will be increasingly challenged to deal with this growing demand while still protecting the corporate network and proprietary data that belongs to the organization-without exposing themselves to security, support and data loss vulnerabilities.

Is there a middle ground in the IL vs. CL debate? Yes, if organizations are smart about aligning their mobile device strategy with corporate-wide technology and budget requirements. The best approach is to go in with eyes wide open, weighing the pros and cons of each scenario. Here are six recommendations for businesses caught in the crosshairs of this heated and growing debate:

Albert Subbloie is founder, President and CEO of Tangoe. Albert is recognized as a telecommunications technology and Internet pioneer. Prior to Tangoe, Albert was among the first to develop and market voice and data solutions for integrated sales, marketing and customer service activities. Albert founded Information Management Associates (IMA) in 1984 and guided the company's growth to more than $50M in sales and 300 customers in seven offices worldwide. Albert is credited with one of the patents for reverse auction theory, the leading Internet paradigm in most shopping Websites today. Albert received a degree with honors in Economics from Trinity College. He can be reached at

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