Secure enterprise file sharing and file management vendor Accellion has added Mac support to its file sync system for mobile workers known as kitedrive. As we noted earlier this year in covering the launch of kitedrive for iOS, Accellion describes kitedrive as “Dropbox for the enterprise.” That’s a pretty good description. kitedrive syncs content for offline access to business documents, which are securely encrypted during transmission and while stored on the a mobile device, PC, or Mac.
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While bring your own device (BYOD) programs that encourage employees to use their personal iPhones, iPads, and other devices in the office increases productivity and employee satisfaction, the trend is also turning those employees into workaholics. That’s not entirely a new realization – we’ve covered the potential impact of the BYOD trend on the work/life balance before (including a recent study that showed that BYOD programs actually improve that balance for IT professionals).
The latest research on BYOD’s impact on workers shows two additional insights – a significant number of employees are footing the bill (sometimes a very big bill) for mobile data service while on the road for work.
The U.S. federal government may not be where you’d expect to see mobile innovation or find good app development suggestions. While there’s still a public sector bureaucracy in government, a number of government agencies are beginning to develop new ways to connect with citizens and invest in mobile technologies for internal use.
Granted, most agencies are doing so because of requirements under the Obama administration’s 21st Century Digital Government Strategy. One of which is that every federal agency must make two high-value, customer-facing services available via mobile devices over the next year. Still, the innovation is happening and the agencies that have already taken up the challenge are good models for agencies that have yet to do so.
They’re also good sources of advice for any organization that is beginning to develop an iOS or mobile app strategy.
According a study released earlier this month, Apple’s iOS is becoming the most popular platform for enterprise app development – with 53.2% of developers picking iOS for corporate app development compared to 37.4% of developers standing behind Android. RIM’s BlackBerry, the old guard of enterprise mobility, came in a distant fourth behind Windows Phone with only 2% of developers supporting it.
That’s great news for Apple and the iPhone and iPad in business and enterprise environments. Apple even makes enterprise distribution possible outside of the App Store. Mobile App Management (MAM) and enterprise app store solutions provide efficient and effective distribution and update methods for enterprise apps.
Business to business (B2B) apps and solutions, however, present a different kind of challenge – one for which Apple has a solution, even if it isn’t a perfect solution.
When Apple unveiled iMessage, one of the first thoughts for many IT professionals and business users was that Apple had come up with a secure messaging platform that could rival RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger. While iMessage has a lot going for it as a secure messaging platform, there are still some reasons that it may not be an ideal business solution.
A handful of studies recently have looked at the impact of the iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices used for both work and personal pursuits is having on the work/life balance for professionals across a range of industries. One recent study showed mobile devices have contributed to the average American working seven hours each week, the equivalent of a full work day, out of the office and after hours. Another pointed how that many of us will work while on vacation thanks to our mobile devices.
For one segment of the workforce, however, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices and their ubiquitous connectivity have actually improved the work/life balance. That group is salaried IT professionals.
The most striking point in a recent report commissioned by Trend Micro was that IT administrators are beginning to rank Apple’s iOS ahead of RIM’s BlackBerry and other mobile platforms, but there were some other significant details in that report.
The report focuses on mobile security and issues related to bring your own device (BYOD) programs. Such programs encourage employees to use their personal iPhones, iPads, Android devices and other mobile technologies to access business resources and perform work related tasks. Many IT professionals believe that BYOD programs introduce security risks – and it looks like they’re right believe that. Decisive Analytics, the company that prepared the report, notes that nearly half the IT professionals that they surveyed in the U.S., U.K., and Germany admitted that their companies had already experienced a mobile-related security breach.
The perception of the BlackBerry as the most secure and manageable mobile platform seems to be faltering. According to a new report, senior IT administrators now consider Apple’s iOS to be the most secure and manageable platform – despite the fact that RIM offers ten times the number of security and device management policies that Apple provides in iOS.
Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) is the company’s half-hearted attempt to deliver some form of enterprise licensing program for the iOS App Store. The program does make it marginally easier for businesses to bulk purchase and deploy apps to iPhones and iPads than telling employees to buy apps and then reimbursing them, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. As we reported earlier this summer, many businesses and school still feel Apple doesn’t meet their app purchase and deployment needs.
Mobile app management (MAM) vendor App 47 summed up some of the key issues and how it can help companies deal with them as part of the company’s summer lecture series on app management.
Microsoft has positioned its Windows RT tablet OS as an iPad competitor, particularly in business and enterprise markets. Windows RT devices, which includes the ARM-based version of Microsoft’s Surface, are designed to be less expensive than Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets and are meant to push the new touch-oriented Metro interface.
Microsoft has even gone so far as to introduce special licensing terms for businesses that will offer free access to a virtual desktop from Windows RT devices while other platforms, including the iPad, will need to buy a new type of license for such access.
Windows RT would seem a perfect choice for businesses that want to support mobile employees with a tablet, except that Windows RT seems keep hitting one wall after another – the latest being that two of Microsoft’s longstanding OEM partners have decided to pass on creating Windows RT tablets.