Midmarket CIO Briefing

Mobility management in a microsecond: A Midmarket CIO Briefing

SearchCIO-Midmarket.com Staff

With the influence of iPad and iPad2, BlackBerrys and all manner of iPhones, Androids and the like, midmarket CIOs are now forced to contend with a host of hardware and platform that they never envisioned when they plotted out their mobility management strategies. Smartphones in business aren’t going to stop coming, which means your engagement plan needs to get agile right now or risk that 3 a.m. phone call from the CEO with news that your data has been breached thanks to a vulnerability in an employee’s iPhone wallpaper.

In our mobility briefing, we cover the changes that iPads are bringing to the business landscape, how to manage your legion of smartphones in business and also how bring-your-own device (BYOD) policies are being adapted by midmarket companies. We also guide you through giving your mobility management policy a physical checkup so you can rest easier tonight and hopefully enjoy far fewer crisis phone calls.

This guide is part of SearchCIO-Midmarket.com's Midmarket CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic guidance and advice that addresses the management and decision-making aspects of timely topics. For a complete list of the topics covered to date, visit the Midmarket CIO Briefings section.

Table of contents

  IPad uses in business drive CIO interest
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A decade ago, BlackBerry gave birth to a mobility movement. The fever grew as we relied more and more on laptops, but our addiction took new heights with the release of the iPhone and the iPad. Ten years ago, we would have never imagined that these devices would inspire such a thirst for mobility. Along with this great demand have come new opportunities and challenges in mobility management. In addition to BYOD initiatives, organizations must now brainstorm new mobile workforce management strategies as well as consider new mobile device security threats and support models.

The mobile, always-connected tablet is here to stay -- if you doubt that, consider the sheer success of the iPad and the scrambling competitors are doing to get a leg up. Believe it or not, this can be a boon for businesses that are BYOD friendly. Although I doubt that many companies will simply stop issuing laptops anytime soon, the tablet is used as a complementary device in some circles.

Through vendor application stores, there are thousands upon thousands of business apps available. Further, with an appropriate infrastructure, applications can easily be decoupled from the desktop. Although decoupling has been possible with laptops for years, the new generation of mobile devices takes it to a whole new level, particularly when that mobile device has a continuous 3G network connection.

Learn more in "How the iPad raises new concerns for mobile device security.” Also:

  Is there a place for BYOD in your org?
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Mobile devices that function as mini-computers are changing how employees work and how IT supports them. The trend to bring your own device to work adds complexity to IT's already complicated job of mobile device management. Some question whether standard frameworks for delivering IT services apply. Sharon Taylor, chief architect for the IT Infrastructure Library and president of Aspect Group Inc., an IT Service Management consulting and training company in Ottawa, assures us that ITIL is there to help, not hurt.

Learn more in "ITIL and BYOD: Amicable relationship or irreconcilable differences?” Also:

  • Bring your own PC comes, despite vexed IT pros
    To the chagrin of IT pros, mobile workforce users want to bring their own devices to work. Virtual desktop technology can help those companies willing to support nonstandard computers.
  • BYOD security: Paranoia or necessity?
    Employees want their own devices to avoid being locked into the corporation’s archaic hardware, while the CIO must balance network security with keeping the peace. But are CIOs worrying for nothing?
  • Why companies can't ignore 'bring your own PC'
    Whether users own their devices or merely use virtual desktops on corporate machines, BYOPC will soon become mandatory in the enterprise.
  Managing smartphones in business
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Smartphones have completely wriggled their way into our lives, both business and personal. Pity the CIO who forgets about these powerful and popular tools when securing and managing his network. For some, smartphones in business are the weakest link in their networks, simply due to failure to successfully manage mobile devices.

If you're using mobile devices in your network, chances are good that you're using Research in Motion Inc. BlackBerrys, Apple Inc. iPhones, Android devices or Microsoft’s Windows mobile phones. If you're lucky, you'll have only a single type of device in play -- in most cases, however, organizations need to manage several different devices at the same time, using a variety of tools.

Learn more in "Do you know where your smartphones are? Tips to manage mobile devices.” Also:

  Mobility management: Is there an app for THAT?
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CIOs have been dealing with mobile device headaches for more than a decade. Given the popularity of BlackBerry devices, netbooks and the iPad and iPhone, CIOs need to deal with how devices fit inside their IT shops. They also need to consider that their users are connecting to the company network with their personal devices -- and possibly putting the organization at risk.

So what are the biggest concerns for CIOs with embracing a mobility strategy? How sound is your mobility management plan? What are the risks and pain points you need to account for? Jonathan Hassell has outlined four major areas to watch when developing your mobile device security strategy.

Learn more in "Mobile device security and risks: What you need to know.” Also:

  More resources
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This was first published in May 2011

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