The ongoing consumerisation of technology has left organisations facing a bewildering choice of mobile devices and deployment options. Smartphones and tablets running multiple operating systems might offer increased choice for employees, but they create a new set of challenges for organisations. IT departments face the difficult task of balancing user choice with ensuring the security of corporate data and compliance with industry working practices. Furthermore, in a tough economic climate, they’re being asked to ensure the best value for the organisation at a time when costs are fragmenting across corporate tariffs, personal expenses and management software.
A tough balancing act
Security and cost are often the biggest areas of discussion and concern and many IT departments lack solid data on which to evaluate the different approaches to enterprise mobility. The UK’s Public Sector is a good example. Multiple departments handle areas as diverse as social security and national defence. Each one has different requirements for functionality and security. Within each department, there are different user groups that complicate the picture further. IT departments need to balance these needs but there is little third-party comparison of the various deployment options and mobile devices available, particularly when it comes to cost and security.
It will be a familiar picture for many organisations across all sectors. They are looking to their suppliers for best practices in enterprise mobility and to third parties for direct comparisons of the different approaches and technologies open to them.
Adding some perspective
Technology analysts and consultants Strategy Analytics have today published a report, commissioned by Research In Motion® (RIM®) that contrasts the different approaches to enterprise mobile deployments in the public sector. Based on interviews with IT decision- makers from across the UK public sector, it compares the BlackBerry® solution to deploying devices running on the iOS®, Windows®, Android™ and Symbian mobile operating systems and using a ‘Walled Garden’ approach to managing and securing these devices. The report looked at different solution set-ups, control options associated with these solutions, the suitability of different operating systems and the implications regarding total cost of ownership (TCO) for these different implementations.
The BlackBerry end-to-end solution delivers clear cost and security benefits
A single-vendor solution delivered clear benefits for organisations. The report found that BlackBerry provides a lower overall total cost of ownership across different user implementations. For example, a 100 user deployment the Walled Garden approach costs 39% more than the BlackBerry enterprise solution to deploy and manage. The TCO of a BlackBerry in a 100 user company factoring in all associated costs, is £294 ($454, €367) which is often cheaper than an alternative smartphone from a competitor.
The report provides a breakdown of where the cost benefits are realised, including:
- BlackBerry running costs after one year are 14% lower than using a Walled Garden approach.
- Network data plans for BlackBerry devices are on average lower than alternative smartphone plans*.
- BlackBerry solution setups require fewer additional elements to get started resulting in lower CAPEX. Additional gateways, routers, firewalls and a Reverse Proxy Server and additional network layers (Access and Presentation Layer) are required for the Walled Garden setup.
- Walled Garden Installation and setup costs are higher.
The report also found that the end-to-end architecture of the BlackBerry solution, including encryption for data-at-rest and in transit, mitigates the maximum amount of risk and offers essential support for corporate IT policies. The below chart references different threats an organisation can face with their mobile devices and what the threat level is for a specific solution:
In summary, Strategy Analytics found that:
“When looking to define a cost-efficient, long-term enterprise mobility strategy, we would caution all organisations across both the public and private sectors to look at the total cost of supporting multiple devices with multiple operating systems over several years.”
“The BlackBerry solution not only provided the most secure platform but also the lowest TCO when considering all elements of the network, required device management and the devices themselves.”
*Dependent on network provider