Dell Exec: Enterprise Mobility Doesn't Need to Be Difficult

Dell's Sean Wisdom says businesses shouldn't hold back on embracing mobility and BYOD over fears of cost, security and complexity.

dell mobility

Enterprises are continuing to struggle with issues around their increasingly mobile environments, from the number of new smartphones and tablets that are hitting the market—and finding their way into the corporate scene—to the challenges of managing the devices and data that lies within them, according to Sean Wisdom, global director of mobility solutions at Dell.

IT staffs are wrestling with concerns ranging from security and complexity to bring-your-own-device (BYOD) deployments and tablets, and the result has been hesitancy in many businesses to bring BYOD policies into their environments despite demand from employees and evidence that such programs increase worker productivity, Wisdom told eWEEK in a recent interview.

Dell recently has been on a global marketing campaign to dispel some myths enterprises have about mobility and convince them that adopting good mobile technologies and practices can bring significant benefits to both the businesses and their workers, he said.

Not surprisingly, the campaign also is aimed at highlighting Dell's growing mobile technology portfolio, part of the now-private company's larger push to become a top-tier IT solutions and services provider. The vendor's mobile solutions are designed to give businesses the tools to implement policies that can meet the demands for ease of use, security and productivity.

"Our customers really believe in mobility and want to [deploy] mobility solutions," Wisdom said, adding that they're hindered by concerns over cost, complexity and security.

Despite those concerns, most indicators are showing that businesses and their workforces will only become more mobile in the coming years, and spending on mobile solutions will grow. Oracle earlier this month released a survey that found mobile-related IT expenses will grow by more than 50 percent in the next two years, security is the top concern related to BYOD deployments (93 percent of respondents cited worries about data loss and other security problems when talking about mobility in the enterprise), and that organizations are turning more to centralized management rather than relying on users for security in BYOD environments.

"Mobility has been ubiquitous for a while, but only 10 percent of enterprises have an enterprisewide deployment of mobile," Suhas Uliyar, vice president of mobile strategy and product management at Oracle, said in a statement when the survey results were released. "Its impact and adoption are gaining importance today. This survey is reassuring in that enterprises see potential for great payoff from making a strong mobile commitment."

Dell's Wisdom said the mobile world is evolving quickly, and that some enterprises are "still holding on to viewpoints of mobility that are kind of outdated." For example, many IT staffs believe that traditional mobile device management (MDM) is enough for BYOD deployments. What Dell officials tell businesses is that while such MDM solutions can handle some issues—like when a device has been stolen or lost, the data can be wiped—but they don't tend to address what happens to the data once it's on the device. Solutions like Dell's Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) offering give IT staffs a single offering that can address the security of the data—encrypting the data on corporate-owned devices and creating a secure virtualized container on employee-owned devices that is controlled by the IT department and keeps the company's information separate from the rest of the data on the device.