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May 09, 2013

How Mobile Application Management Fits into a BYOD Deployment

When it comes to crafting a successful BYOD (bring your own device) strategy it’s critical to remember these words: it’s about your data and enterprise mobile apps. The particular device doesn’t matter. What does matter is the information and what employees can do with that information. The bottom line is that a strong mobile application management (MAM) strategy will help enterprises get the most out of BYOD. Before developing a BYOD strategy, IT has to determine the specific goal of the strategy is as well what it’s looking to protect. The goal for most enterprises is to enable their employees to be more productive as well as to protect sensitive corporate data.

Research firm Gartner Inc. agrees, “IT's best strategy to deal with the rise of BYOD is to address it with a combination of policy, software, infrastructure controls and education in the near term, and with application management and appropriate cloud services in the longer term,” according to a recent Gartner report. With a mobile application management strategy, IT can be sure that corporate data is encrypted on the device, and that users can’t copy and paste into or out of the app.

Additionally, IT can wipe the device of corporate data on demand, but not interfere with the user’s personal information. Here’s the deal about BYOD and MAM: it’s about connection and communication -- how a particular device works with everything and everyone in the organization, not vice versa. Using mobile application management software tools, IT can develop, test, deploy and control in-house and third-party mobile apps. Not only that, but employees can also download and use IT-approved and provisioned mobile apps from their companies’ enterprise app store.

Mobile application management also lets companies wrap fine-grained security policies around individual mobile apps to add multiple layers of protection to any app that needs more security. This app wrapping lets enterprises secure sensitive data by wrapping each of the third-party apps that they want to allow to access corporate resources. Then they can deploy those wrapped mobile applications to their enterprise app stores so employees can download them, knowing they’re as secure as possible. IT can also control who has access to which apps, depending on an employee’s job function, among other factors, even though it no longer has control over the device.

The fact is that the use of smartphones, tablets and even phablets (a tablet that also functions as a phone), is only going to increase. That means there will be even more pressure on IT to implement a workable BYOD strategy. It also means that IT must turn to mobile application management tools to turn the strategic vision of BYOD into a successful reality.  


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