What’s the best mobility management strategy for your organization?
A good place to start your search is a recently published report from market research firm Ovum. Beyond BYOD: How Businesses Might COPE with Mobility serves as the CIO’s guide to identifying the optimum mobility strategy. The report, commissioned by BlackBerry to shine an objective spotlight on an increasingly strategic decision facing organization of all sizes, outlines four mobility management options and compares their effectiveness in supporting employee preferences, reducing costs, meeting long-term requirements, mitigating risks and complying with regional and vertical legislation.
“As we enter a mobile first environment and mobility becomes an increasingly important part of every IT department’s service, getting device and application provisioning strategies right is vital,” says Richard Absalom, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Mobility at Ovum and author of the report. “There is no silver bullet solution to this challenge, or a one-size-fits-all answer: every organization has different requirements.”
As the report’s title suggests, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is being reassessed as a device management strategy suitable for the requirements of many organizations, especially those doing business in regulated environments, such as government, financial services, healthcare or the public sector. As enterprises escalate workforce mobilization, enabling smartphones and tablets to access more and more mission-critical and highly sensitive behind-the-firewall data, IT departments will need to reevaluate BYOD’s ability to meet future security and compliance requirements.
Comparative suitability of different enterprise mobility strategies and solutions
Source: Ovum 2014, Beyond BYOD: How Businesses Might COPE with Mobility
“Regulatory and legal compliance issues, concerns over privacy, costs and the difficulties of managing such a fragmented array of devices and applications make fully supporting BYOD a real challenge for IT,” says Absalom. “For some, it will make sense to embrace BYOD, for others there are alternative options in corporate provisioning such as CYOD and COPE, which may deal with some of the behavioral drivers of BYOD and also make it easier for IT to manage the corporate mobile estate.”
The report also evaluates a Corporate-Only, Business-Only (COBO) device management option, which is aimed primarily at organizations needing to meet the strictest security and control requirements. While COBO provides too restrictive a user experience to suit some enterprises, its ability to mandate business-only usage of smartphones or tablets is highly desirable for government agencies, regulated businesses or any organization that needs to apply strict security and compliance polices to a portion of its workforce — or even an individual.
Absalom says that some of the usability concerns associated with a COBO approach can be mitigated by an end-to-end offering that encompasses devices, secure infrastructure and management software. The report cites BlackBerry as meeting that criteria and delivering a market-leading COBO device management option.
“BlackBerry is the originator and most prominent vendor offering this all-inclusive hardware and software package for COBO deployments, and remains the leader in terms of end-to-end device security and management,” says Absalom, adding that other vendors are also targeting the space.
Another major report finding is that a single mobile device policy will not meet the requirements of most organizations. Enterprises would be wise, says Absalom, to select an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution that can accommodate a wide spectrum of management policies.
“There are various types of EMM solutions on the market, each suited to certain scenarios,” he says. “The most successful EMM solutions will be those that are able to support all scenarios, as businesses adopt a mix of strategies between different departments, vertical units and countries.”