Strategic Issues in Systems Management Part 2: Mobile

If there is one IT issue C-level managers understand it’s the connection between mobile devices and workforce morale, productivity and agility. After all, most of them are big smartphone users themselves. That raises the question of what to do about BYOD.

One challenge is platform diversity. Gone are the days when IT could enforce a Windows-only or Internet Explorer-only standard.  So IT has the management challenge of how to bring all these devices together in a single holistic view with a common set of metrics and controls despite their differing technical attributes. The other alternative — having a different management view for every platform — defeats the purpose of unified system management and in fact would be unworkable.

Another challenge is how to let employees use the same device for both business and personal use. On the one hand, employees want to use their own data and applications without feeling like “Big Brother” is watching. On the other, IT (and senior management too) can’t allow uncontrolled access to corporate data and applications. One solution is a mobile app that effectively “containerizes” the corporate environment within the device, separating it from the personal environment. That way anything the user does for work — with email, web browser, productivity apps, data, and even storage — is isolated from what the user does on the personal side. All corporate data is encrypted and also encrypted in transit outside the corporate firewall. Corporate data can also be remotely wiped, i.e., deleted, without affecting personal data or applications.

Such a containerized model offers many advantages over alternative approaches. It removes the burden of device and application configuration from the user. It eliminates the need, cost and risk of putting mobile devices on the network using a VPN. And it ensures centralized policy-based management of corporate IT assets on all authorized employee-owned mobile devices without compromising the employee’s personal privacy.

Stay tuned for the launch of Kaseya BYOD!

Part 1: Security and Compliance


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