AirWatch: How to find the right enterprise mobile solution #AppsWorld

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”, or so the ancient proverb goes. Many C-level executives may feel that the journey needed to fully mobilise their enterprise may be similar, but there are many ways to go about it.

The problem is of course, that the game is changing so quickly it’s difficult to keep up.

Ian Evans, EMEA managing director at AirWatch, who will be at Apps World Europe on October 22-23, notes that his company often refers to running operations “in dog years.”

“One of the challenges in mobility is that some of our customers say ‘can you hold the price for three years?’ We say ‘what device are you going to hold in your hand in three years?’

“It’s changing at such a fast pace, so what’s important for us is to be able to give as much guidance on mobility as we can, so our customers can make an informed choice,” he adds.

If you could sum up the biggest issue facing companies looking to mobilise, it would be security. In a BYOD friendly world, the CIO’s worst nightmare remains that confidential data slips into the wrong hands.

Of course, there is plenty of mobile device management (MDM) software out there, of which AirWatch is one of the biggest vendors.

“We’re in a very educational space in terms of MDM and driving mobility generally,” Evans notes. “I think it’s important we hold these forts together.”

Yet with recent Forrester research claiming there is a disconnect between IT and business, there are pressures from both sides of the organisation.

As Easynet wrote for CloudTech last month: “Smartphones and tablets have brought about the collision of the worlds of IT and telecoms, and are responsible for us all knowing a little bit about IT.” In other words, bypass the IT department and be happy, all the while blissfully unaware about the potential strain they’ve put the network under.

Evans notes how beneficial MDM software can be in that regard.

“One of the things about MDM is that we need to make sure the device that joins the network that shares some kind of corporate data is safe, controlled, and we can retrieve the corporate data back from it,” he says. “So, what we don’t want really is every single member of staff turning up to the IT department in a long line, waiting in a queue to get their MDM enabled.

“One of the nice things about MDM is that it just knows when you need a VPN (virtual private network) or not, it can turn it on or off, and it takes away all that mystery about what the device is doing.

“I think once you start looking down the BYOD route, that’s a pretty important factor. If you haven’t got an MDM that’s got intelligent profiling and some way of pushing out a self service, then you’re just creating another queue at the IT department,” Evans adds.

AirWatch announced separate mobile application management (MAM) capability at the start of this year, with a pervasive trend around MAM or bring your own app (BYOA).

Evans sees room for multiple solutions in a sophisticated strategy: a device-managed BYOD deployment, which is managing the device but protecting the privacy of the employee; a workspace container solution, for a dual-persona device; or BYOA.

“Essentially what you’re doing here is allowing the internal app store to be deployed to those devices, and they can choose the apps that are best suited to their corporate profile, and then they can run the app,” says Evans. “That’s not a managed device – that’s an app.

“[The device] doesn’t have anything corporate go into it, but the app that is pushed out may have MDM baked into it, or security wrapped around it.

“As you can’t publish apps with security built in to a public app store, this gives us the ability to say ‘this is my app store, these are my apps, it’s got some authentication detail baked into the app and therefore it’s more secure, even though the device isn’t,’” he adds.

 

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