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 What happens when your current fleet becomes outdated and cumbersome experiences hamper employee satisfaction and performance?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.

Israel Lifshitz

This past year saw businesses keep up with the torrid pace of both new and developing technologies in the enterprise mobility space. And if you thought this frenetic activity might subside in 2016, then think again and fasten your proverbial seatbelt. As markets and use cases continue to grow, here’s a look at the trends that seem poised to leave their mark on the industry in the coming year.

Holes in the EMM umbrella will demand redefined BYOD strategy yet again

Looking back at the enterprise data security landscape over the past few years, you can see clearly the determined mission by industry vendors to label and define different endpoint security solutions and declare them as a complete and holistic remedy for the mobile working environment. Enterprise Mobility Management is the latest buzzword to claim this mantle, having added Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Information Management (MIM) tools to solutions which were largely based on Mobile Device Management (MDM).

But just how well can this patchwork of systems support the needs of mobile enterprises today, and more importantly in the future? Those solutions undoubtedly must focus on the needs of users, who you can expect will be adopting an more diverse roster of devices that can touch the enterprise ecosystem and will demand access to robust, data-rich apps. This will also demand much greater assurances on the privacy of their personal environments than we’ve seen in EMM suites to date. Managing all of these needs under the EMM umbrella actually results in significant inefficiencies that span app development and deployment, device and OS compatibility, patch management, integration and scalability. And we haven’t even mentioned security, with MDM-based techniques still prone to the constant stream of device and application threats that attack consumer devices with increasing sophistication.

As a consequence, expect EMM vendors to raise their security ceiling by embracing emerging approaches, and watch for MDM’s relative importance in this space to fade. Solutions focused on data at the heart of their product will gain a larger slice of the EMM pie. The need for a truly comprehensive framework that cuts through these complexities and improves all facets of mobility will become much more recognized in 2016 and disruptive technologies like Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) will become more mature, proven ways forward for CIOs evaluating their mobile security strategy.

Better options will mean a hotter BYOD market for SMBs

Quite understandably, implementation and maintenance costs have been a barrier for SMBs in taking on BYOD solutions that could help yield them the same benefits as for larger organizations. That’s not to say they haven’t already embraced BYOD as a practice, with a recent study revealing that 61% of American SMBs allow employees to bring devices to work. And a recent survey by analyst firm 451 Research shows that security is easily the top obstacle to supporting mobile and remote workers. But you can expect those walls to come down for many of these businesses in 2016. Virtualized technologies and cloud-based SaaS solutions have penetrated the market with products that offer a higher layer of security and can be installed and operational within a matter of hours. These cost-effective solutions will also address budgetary shackles that have deterred many SMBs until now.

It will be an M&A buffet again in 2016

In 2015 we saw giants such as IBM, VMware, Blackberry and Red Hat gobble up MDM and EMM vendors. All of this activity validates the growth and maturity of BYOD. As more proven emerging technologies ascend in the mobility space, you can be sure that the software behemoths will be hungry for more as they jostle for market dominance. Software vendors with strong integration capabilities will feel like the belles of the ball in the coming year.

Healthcare will further screen IoT use cases:

For all the hype surrounding IoT devices, proven mobile use cases in the enterprise remain sparse. Don’t expect that to change dramatically in 2016. However, one vertical in particular seems set to be an exception. The rising demand for improved healthcare, reduced cost of care, and evolution of high speed networking technologies is forecasted to grow from $32.47 Billion to $163.24 Billion by 2020. Mature use cases exist for applications in remote patient monitoring and chronic disease management, and how the IoT market progresses in healthcare could be a fascinating story to watch in the New Year and beyond.

Israel Lifshitz

When you really think about it, security technology lifecycles can be compared to love and relationships. Take enterprise mobility and the advent of BYOD for example. As the market’s needs moved beyond the desktop PC, and employees demanded the ability to use a vast array of different consumer mobile devices, along came the knight in shining armor du jour – Mobile Device Management (MDM).

MDM let businesses enforce policies on tablets and smartphones. If a lost or compromised device was discovered it could be remote wiped. This seemed like a great solution for IT at the time, but far from it for BYOD employees who resented IT being able to infringe their privacy, view which apps they were downloading, and potentially erase their personal files.

This led to the metamorphosis of MDM as a BYOD solution, to the beginning of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) as an overall strategy. This concept still relied on the foundation built by MDM, but now expanded to include Mobile Application Management (MAM) and (Mobile Information Management) tools. MAM allows IT to contain and secure only specified corporate apps. They can select wipe only those apps without altering the employee’s personal apps. MIM tools offer a corporate, secure version of cloud-based file sync and share services like Dropbox.

Together, this trio of security tools merged to become what is known as EMM – the latest security buzzword for an industry seeking to solve its enterprise mobility riddle. Organizations needed a security approach that could be applied to all mobile devices. And to a large extent, EMM has offered a way of doing just that.

EMM enforces a standard policy, provides a way to manage mobile apps, content and operating systems, oversees network services like WiFi and data usage, and allows IT to manage hardware inventory and enforce security policies via encryption. As for the EMM toolbox, “Everyone’s doing it”, and so enterprises have readily fallen for their latest love and adopted it as their main BYOD security solution. I call it the EMM honeymoon.

But as the relationship has matured past the early adopter phase and into early majority territory, So have the mobility needs of many enterprises. These include providing mobile employees with more robust applications that include sensitive client and proprietary data, and providing that data with the higher level of security it merits. These needs surpass the capabilities within the EMM suite.

Here are several reasons why the end of the honeymoon phase with EMM has arrived, and signals the need for a holistic solution that can bolster its overall security approach.

What’s love without (data) security? Absolutely Nothing!

Many industry experts are not satisfied with the security level afforded by MDM deployment and have actually delayed expansion of their BYOD program as a result. This hesitation leaves them supporting only standard apps (i.e. email, Calendar etc.) and holds them back from progressing to the next level of app deployment – which is where they need to be going if they want to reap the most out of BYOD.

The industry is already recognizing these issues and much of the buzz now is rightly focusing on securing enterprise data and the best way to accomplish that. More and more experts are subscribing to the philosophy that your data is your most valuable asset and are re-visiting the best way to secure it.

App Deployment & MDM: Y’all Got Compatibility Issues!

When using MDM in tandem with Mobile Application Management (MAM) tools, enterprises still must deploy multiple app versions so that they can run on different platforms and OSs, as well as different device and OS versions. For example, your CRM app may run smoothly on Android 4.4 for Samsung, but the same version fails on HTC devices. You will never know when your users decide to upgrade the OS version or even install a custom OS.

These issues translate into higher costs for app development and testing. Enterprises also face major issues deploying apps onto all of the devices in their network. Apps need to be installed within the vast array of devices, creating a major burden for IT.

MDM Security is High Maintenance for your IT

IT help desks are incurring higher costs for supporting users and in many cases do not have the resources needed to take on the added workload. Enforcing MDM security policies is also much more time-consuming than anticipated, and requires ongoing patches and other security measures to deal with device and OS vulnerabilities. More work resources are involved, from the security team right down to the help desk.

Growing Apart: Enterprise Integration & Scalability

Companies are struggling to find a way to run enterprise apps on one platform and help users more easily log into their apps. Each app must connect to enterprise data, and with MDM they must be installed individually per device. How does this impact growth and scalability? Logging into each app separately becomes more cumbersome as the needs of users grow. More apps require more security approval and integration. For example, implementing a Single-sign on (SSO) process is especially challenging because the devices cannot connect to the Active Directory. Other issues which will come to the surface are how EMM complicates the integration of apps with Kerberos authentication protocols and SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) standards.

VMI + EMM: Completing BYOD

So where do enterprises and EMM go from here? Just as with successful relationships, we grow and become more well-rounded, adapting to each other’s needs. That’s where an emerging technology like Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) comes in. By adding VMI to the enterprise mobility mix, businesses can use a multi-tiered approach for their delivery of standard and more sophisticated apps.

EMM can be used to securely deliver mobile applications such email, calendar and contacts. VMI can be used to deploy robust applications such as CRM and ERP software for example, and provide access to more sensitive client and corporate data. With VMI providing a completely remote environment, companies can gain that trust and peace of mind that all their critical information is kept and managed separately from their employees’ personal devices.

Implementing VMI for an enterprise can integrate with existing EMM tools, and consequently enhance your organization’s ability to:

    • Run mobile native apps remotely on your corporate data center.
    • Deliver any Android-based app (available on Google Play) as simple as drag and drop to the environment.
    • Develop just one customized app for one environment for both iOS and Android.
    • Implement an SSO process for both a local secure container and a remote VMI environment.

Adding VMI to your existing EMM security secures classified client and proprietary data and enables seamless app deployment. You benefit from the best of both technologies, and your enterprise mobility initiatives can graduate from the honeymoon stage and into a productive, secure and lasting BYOD future.