Gone are the days of easy separation of work and personal mobile devices
People and their devices are almost inseparable even when they are at work. From phones to tablets and laptops, the new workforce wants to bring their own device with them to the workplace. Gone are the days of easy separation of work and personal mobile devices as many companies have allowed BYOD (“bring your own device”) policies. This policy has been the cause for some concern due to the security risks that may arise from such practices. So what solutions exist that would be satisfactory to both companies and their employees?
One possible solution for device security is to provide employees with separate devices that are for work purposes only. Some employees balk at such an idea as many of today’s workers prefer using one mobile device with which they are already familiar. Add to this that it is in the company’s best interest to save money by utilizing the existing assets the company already has and instead focus on alternative methods of ensuring device security.
The best answer lies within the company itself. Most companies already have business practices in place that would accommodate the creation of new policies quite easily. The business practice is called IT Asset Management (ITAM). ITAM is growing in prevalence as companies use processes and monitoring to optimize their assets and save money. One area commonly overlooked or misunderstood, however, is Mobile Device Management (MDM). Just as hardware asset management, software asset management, and service management are beneficial to a company’s efficacy and health, mobile device management is yet another facet of ITAM which can contribute to the overall success and security of an organization.
So what kind of questions should IT managers ask themselves in regard to managing devices?
First, IT needs to have programs in place that can manage the enterprise applications being installed. Employee behavior on business applications is important for any IT Asset Management team to monitor; however, administrators need to allow employees privacy in their personal apps and data. Companies often create a separate virtual environment within the mobile device itself with its own apps, home screen, and widgets and this keeps the applications and data inside separate from the user’s personal data. This configuration allows IT asset managers to employ monitoring programs solely to the enterprise-related data within the container and provides the individual with greater privacy and the company with increased security.
Another important factor that IT managers need to have is information on employee data usage. Mobile Device Management solutions can provide exact information in regard to the amount of data being used, when it is being used, and what applications are using the data. It is imperative that organizations track data usage because overage fees will cost the company a fortune. IT Asset Management saves money and prevents unnecessary spending.
Additionally, IT managers interested in device management need to engage in “over the air” support. According to The ITAM Review, this means that “IT Support staff can push updates, notifications, software, data or even lock/wipe corporate data from the device wirelessly and remotely, sometimes without any evidence on the devices screen. This ensures further security for company data because employees will not be using out of date software on their mobile devices.
The main problem with MDM is who should implement the procedures. Does it fall under the category of hardware asset managers because of the mobile devices involved, or under the realm of software asset managers who have a deeper knowledge about applications on the devices? Administrators are needed for the hardware side in order to monitor the lifecycle of devices and implement repairs. Managing staff is also needed to ensure the safety of data through software monitoring. Mobile Device Management is becoming an inescapable necessity, as more and more work has begun to move from desktops and laptops to mobile devices. Because of this, companies must have systems, policies, and processes in place to effectively manage devices.
Enterprise Integration, in our partnership with Eracent, can help customers manage and configure mobile devices remotely and facilitate management of the applications that reside on those devices. The Eracent Mobility Manager™ establishes and enforces BYOD policies, safeguards mobile device access to enterprise systems, securely distributes shared content, manages data plans and expenses, separates public and private data, enables management functions for locking and wiping devices and generates reports.
The Eracent Mobility Manager provides customers with a sophisticated method for managing mobile devices, applications, and the security of enterprise data. Since Eracent Mobility Manager is an integrated module of the IT Management Center (ITMC) suite, customers get a comprehensive view of all assets in a single interface, and mobile application usage metrics are provided as input to Software Asset Management initiatives.