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.
Football season is just around the corner and the iPad is set to become a fixture for both college and pro teams. As we noted earlier in the year, a handful of NFL teams made the switch to iPad-based playbooks at the start of last season and more are making the switch this year. In addition to NFL teams, several colleges have announced that they are transitioning to the iPad playbook model as well.
There are plenty of stories out there about the explosive growth of mobile technology in the workplace. The trend towards bring your on device (BYOD) models in which employees are allowed or encouraged to bring their own iPhones, iPads, and other devices into the office is driving a massive expansion of the number of mobile devices used for work tasks. At the same time, the annual (or even more frequent) device an OS release cycles that have become common are driving up diversity of devices and resetting the mobile technology playing field every few months.
That constant change is forcing the IT professionals to adapt to new devices, apps, use cases, network models, and security threats faster than anything the IT industry has ever seen.
This is particularly visible in the mobile management space. A year ago, the primary method for handling mobile device and data security was to manage and lock down the device itself using one of dozens of mobile device management (MDM) suites on the market. Over the past six to nine months, however, MDM has been replaced by mobile app management (MAM) as the best way to secure business data. That’s a warp-speed transition in the mindset and goals of IT professionals.
The number of companies investing in mobile management and security solutions related to bring your own device (BYOD) programs is growing, but not nearly as fast as the number of companies that are actually offering BYOD to their employees. The result is that many companies are putting themselves and their data at risk by jumping onto the BYOD bandwagon too quickly and without properly securing employee iPhones, iPads, and other devices or the business data that is stored on them.
In addition to launching Mountain Lion Server last week, Apple rather quietly released a Mountain Lion Server version of Workgroup Manager – the traditional Mac management tool included in previous releases of OS X Server. The move was unexpected after Apple released the Advanced Administration guide for Mountain Lion Server, which implied that administrators would need to begin an almost-immediate shift to Mountain Lion Server’s Profile Manager.
The move is good news for many organizations that have an existing investment in OS X Server and Mac clients. Although Mountain Lion Server’s Profile Manager is arguably a more modern and enterprise-friendly solution, it only supports Macs running Lion and Mountain Lion. Any schools or businesses with clients still on Leopard or Snow Leopard would be out of luck if Profile Manager were the only available option.
Do bring your own device (BYOD) programs that allow or encourage users to bring their personal iPhones, iPads, and other devices into the workplace reduce costs or do they drive costs up because of the need for mobile management, training, and technical support?
That fundamental question has been the source of a lot of debate, numerous studies, and a lot of sleepless nights for CIOs and IT managers.
The truth is that this is a question that’s difficult, if not impossible, to answer definitively. There are many variables involved in developing and implementing a BYOD policy or program.
When Apple released iOS 4 two years ago, with a framework for device management built into the OS, the focus of IT departments and security specialists was to activate, configure, and lock down iPhones and iPad as well as other mobile devices. Mobile device management (MDM) was the big iOS-in-business buzz word for quite some time. Over the past several months, however, the discussion around mobile management has shifted significantly as a new concept has become the IT mantra for mobile devices.
That new concept is Mobile app management (MAM) and it has come to be seen as a critical part of supporting and securing mobile devices (including iPhones and iPads) in business. MAM has a different focus from mobile device management (MDM).
Mobile management vendor BoxTone announced an aggressive pricing and sales campaign for its mobile management platform today. From now through the end of September, companies will be able to license BoxTone’s mobile device management (MDM) suite for a monthly fee of just $0.99 per device.
The move comes just a week after BoxTone announced the latest generation of its mobile management tools that includes the now-discounted MDM module as well as modules focused on mobile app management (MAM), mobile device support solutions for help desk agents and IT support teams, and a mobile operations module for monitoring and managing mobile IT staff.
RIM’s trouble seem to be mounting exponentially these days. There’s been a lot of discussion in the tech media about companies significantly invested in BlackBerry devices and services drawing up contingency plans in case of a prolonged outage or service disruption should RIM go belly up or get bought out by another company. The situation for RIM is going to get even worse over the next few months as many companies put some pieces of those plans into action.
According to a survey conducted this week by finance-oriented research firm ThinkEquity, 50% of IT managers have decided to replace RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) systems within the coming year. 70% plan to do so within the next two years.
The bring your own device (BYOD) movement and the broader trend of increased mobile solutions are driving a very ambivalent dialog in most business, schools, and government agencies. On one hand, iPhones, iPads, and other mobile technologies are increasing user productivity and satisfaction (often while improving customer engagement). On the other hand, many devices contain sensitive data and are far from being truly secure.
A handful of studies released over the past few days highlight the often-schizophrenic nature of the discussions taking place in many workplaces – including on experiment that showed 83% of individuals finding a lost corporate smartphone would attempt to access corporate data on it.