BYOD Acceptance Allowing IT Managers to Control Security, Data Access

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-12-27 Print this article Print

Gartner has spelled out a three-level approach. In the first, the firm owns the device and is 100 percent responsible for it; in the second, the employee owns the device, IT puts in place "isolation techniques," also referred to as containerizing—secure data resides in a special "container" on the device—and responsibility for the device is equally shared.

The third level is for special cases, what Dulaney calls "the crazy executive" who says, "I don't care what you say, I'm still going to use this device." That person takes full responsibility.

Gartner concedes that this approach doesn't guarantee the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO)—a carrot that IT usually chases. "But it does ensure choice and some degree of control."

BYOD, like the technologies it addresses, is changing and challenging enterprises.

Expanding Options to Boost Productivity

"You've got employees saying, 'I'm tired of looking like Batman, with three phones on my belt—I've got a BlackBerry, an iPhone, something for encrypted messages,'" says Ron Hassanwalia, VP of sales and marketing at SOTI. "But when you deploy a BYOD solution, the end user doesn't want to compromise on their device. They want freedom on their device."

SOTI calls itself the world leader in enterprise mobile device management (MDM) and BYOD solutions. It has more than 10,000 customers and offers systems for managing mixed environments of Windows, iOS, BlackBerry and Android devices. It also offers a choice of management approaches—the containerized approach, where secure information is segregated, or implementing a security policy that covers the entire device. The same fix isn't right for every company.

"It's getting more complicated [to manage devices], and frankly this is an area that companies didn't used to budget for," Hassanwalia told eWEEK.

"A year ago, IT departments were only concentrating on three operating systems— iOS, BlackBerry and Android. Today you've got Microsoft with Windows Phone 8, Intel has Tizen; WebOS is kind of saying they're going to make a comeback, BlackBerry 10 is coming. It really is getting more complicated," he continued. "Three years ago there wasn't even an iPad, and now tablets are taking over."

But while more mobile platforms are being supported, not every device is. Fragmentation is becoming a theme.

"From the organizational perspective, security is the foremost concern. From the end-user perspective, they're thinking about what can the enterprise support," said Jeff Holleran, senior director of Enterprise Product Management at Research In Motion. "This is a time of year when enterprises need to be particularly proactive about clearly telling employees what they can support."

Holleran explains that a worker, rightly believing that his company supports Android, could walk in Jan. 2 with the holiday gift he requested, only to find that the company actually supports, say, five specific Android smartphones and not the one in his pocket.

Hassanwalia points out that SOTI can support all but the most purely consumer devices and puts in a plug for Samsung's SAFE (Samsung Approved For Enterprise) devices. SOTI was the first MDM provider to pass Samsung's SAFE certification process. "The [security] difference between SAFE devices and other Android phones," says Hassanwalia, "is massive."


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