Michael Gagnon

It’s 2016. Why do corporations continue to struggle deciding how to manage their BYOD reality? The notion that controlling physical devices ensures data security pervades IT thinking. Is it dead right or dead wrong? Let’s examine the issue.

Device centricity for security “dumbs down” the true promise of BYOD capabilities to employees. Instead IT jostles with variations of corporate-owned models like CYOD (Choose Your Own Device), COPE (Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled), and even the traditional COBO (Corporate-Owned, Business Only).

The reason for this is simple: IT leadership is largely unaware of how to securely control mobile data assets in a true BYOD environment, where employees leverage consumer-bought mobile devices to access and execute core business processes. As a result, enterprises mistakenly cling to a mobility status quo, investing in powerful smartphones and tablets, but not giving full accessibility to enterprise data.

Owning physical devices lets IT easily install apps and enforce corporate policies. If an employee loses their device, they can fully wipe it to protect against the possibility of a breach.

But this type of control comes at a high opportunity cost – and it’s usually much higher than the organization may be aware of. On average, each mobile device costs enterprises approximately $400 USD. Device-inventory costs include replacing lost or stolen devices. Even existing inventories do not stay effective for too long before the next generation renders its predecessor ineffective. What happens when your current fleet becomes outdated and cumbersome experiences hamper employee satisfaction and performance? You know the answer!

Hardware costs do not include data plans. Many COPE and CYOD organizations foot the bill for most of the employee’s data plan. Determining corporate data usage versus personal usage is another time-consuming administrative job that is difficult to accurately measure. What value does it add to the business? Zero. We’re still not talking Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) here, which must factor IT maintenance to support all mobile device types, update OS and app versions, and then apply mobile security features and patches to deal with the veritable jungle of vulnerabilities and threats.

A recent study by RedShift Research for Wandera calculates the average TCO for each physical device at just over $1800 – more than double the amount budgeted for device life cycle management.

What if managing physical devices was no longer the necessity it is today? What if the device and its associated apps and data were virtualized? Could you then re-capture that $1,000 overspend for each device?

Move from Physical to Virtual Devices & Watch Your Mobility Costs Evaporate

Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) virtualizes the entire device, apps and data management efforts to enterprise servers running virtual machine (VM) instances in the cloud or on premises. Device change management control and costs are radically simplified. VMI allows IT teams to install, deploy and enable virtual apps from a single control plane. This completely changes the notion of physical device management to a virtualized framework. VMI follows in the tradition of Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help radically simplify the complexity, costs and challenges of managing billions of mobile devices – and most importantly – the data that fuels the innovation and productivity of the employee using the device. Data enablement – not device management – is at the epicenter of how to make millions of enterprise and government employees more productive and customer experiences more amazing!

VMI enables the widest possible scope of mobile-first business apps and processes to be securely executed from an employee’s BYOD device. Mobile apps and their associated data never physically reside on the device. VMI makes a device utterly secure from intrusion. Mobile apps and data are streamed from the cloud as a display using a patented network communications protocol developed by Nubo with no compromise in enterprise user experience.

No corporate data on devices means that while your business and personal environments are completely separate and secured from one another, both are accessible to your employees on the same personal device. Shifting focus to virtualized device, app and data management can help reduce life cycle TCO by over 70 percent.

The Best of Both Worlds for IT and Employees

Having an utterly secure environment saves an incredible amount of IT time and resources normally spent monitoring and securing personal devices. A single VMI environment can facilitate app install, app policies and change management at a level of scale and simplicity not thought possible until now.

Enterprise users are the big winners in terms of higher satisfaction and productivity because VMI virtualization simplifies the process of accessing and executing mobile-first applications. Gone are the complex privacy issues mandated by legacy mobile device management limitations. End users work on preferred devices, with simplified access to relevant work apps; while keeping their personal environment untampered thanks to VMI.

No need to worry about personal data being wiped by IT. If a phone is lost or stolen, or a security risk is detected, IT applies security measures at a virtualized level, not a device level.

Harnessing these VMI benefits also allows enterprises to securely provide employees with the most data-rich apps and collaboration tools in the market. They’re no longer limited to email and calendar apps due to security fears. Enterprises can move forward aggressively to transform existing business processes to mobile apps, executed in the secure, scalable and virtualized world that is VMI. That’s what true BYOD was meant to enable all along.

The best part? All of these advantages are now available in a way that lets enterprises stop footing the bill for mobile hardware. Find out more about how VMI can drastically cut your mobility costs and receive 10 free virtual devices.