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Mar 16, 2015

Mobility for the Extended Enterprise

When organizational leaders think about enterprise mobile apps, they often focus on the potential productivity benefits that are directly generated from employee usage. But in reality, today’s extended enterprise is highly distributed. Work teams across various geographies, business partners, contract workers, franchisees, field staff, and dealers are often using the same apps that employees use—offering an exponential increase in the productivity gains that organizations can achieve. As organizations extend the reach of enterprise apps to an increasingly diverse user population, administrators need to pay close attention to securely deploying apps across device types and organizational roles. Decision-makers also want to ensure that sensitive corporate information is secured on personal devices used by employees and extended workforces. An April 2014 study conducted by Centrify reveals that employees often don’t take adequate steps to protect corporate data used on their personal mobile devices. For instance, 43% of employees have accessed sensitive corporate information on their personal devices while on an unsecured public network, such as at an airport or a restaurant. Such behavior exposes corporate apps and data to mobile spyware, malware, viruses, malicious code, worms, Trojan horses, direct attacks, and the risk of corporate data loss. In the formative years of mobility management, the only option to secure apps and content on a device was through the use of mobile device management (MDM). MDM was initially offered by operating systems vendors such as Apple to enable IT departments to apply a degree of control over a device, whether it was company or personally owned. MDM allows administrators to lock down or wipe a device. The industry has recognized two significant limitations with MDM: limited reach and limited management functions for apps. Besides, the expansion of the extended enterprise which encompasses contractors, business partners, and other non-employees isn’t suited for an authoritarian approach to mobile management. Ultimately, it’s the apps and data that organizations need to secure, not the devices themselves. Mobile application management (MAM®) can add multiple layers of security to apps by applying app wrapping to automatically wrap security policies around mobile apps. These techniques can help ensure that corporate apps and data are protected across the extended enterprise.


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