What are these concepts, and what do they have to do with enterprise mobility?
More and more employees have been bringing their devices to the workplace, and using them for business tasks—through technology like cloud computing, for instance. Think of the stereotype of hordes of business people with Blackberry phones. This means that corporations need a way to ensure that employees use these devices to their fullest productive potential.
What’s more, companies can have vital data that is for their employees’ eyes alone. If this gets out through an inadvertent slip in someone’s mobile security, it can compromise the secrecy of new proprietary technology and sensitive data.
This makes it necessary to have a tech-based solution. First, this led to the introduction of Mobile Device Management (MDM).
The Birth And Rise Of MDM
Mobile Device Management can be on-premises or cloud-based. MDM techniques help a company’s IT staff control the employees’ devices, by enforcing a device password policy, or by giving them the ability and rights to remotely wipe devices.
However, organizations quickly realized that this wasn’t appropriate in all situations.
Let’s say your company deals with external contractors, IT service providers, resellers, and other business partners. You can’t very well expect them to follow your MDM policies and hand over control of their devices.
Another limitation—MDM applications are limited to one device per person. If a board member on your company sits on the board of other companies as well—and this is often the case—they can’t install multiple MDM agents onto their phones or tablets.
BYOD: Bring Your Own Device
Apart from these limitations, the rise in popularity of the iPhone and Android devices meant that companies needed to stop buying devices for the workforce. They chose instead to concentrate on using devices owned by employees, employing a method called containerization for app-level security.
Till very recently, popular consensus was that containerization spelt the end for MDM, or Mobile Device Management. At the 2013 Gartner summit on security and risk management, analyst John Girard told employees, “Mobile device management is in chaos right now, and I think this market is going to die.”.
MDM + Containerization = Enterprise Mobility Success!
As opposed to the whole MDM versus Containerization debate that has raged for the last three or so years, CIOs and mobility experts are slowly realizing that both of these technologies can co-exist.
MDM, instead of dying out, remains the preferred method for protection under the Bring Your Own Device policy.
In high-security industries, organizations now layer MDM and containerization for 2-tier security. Employees will need to go through both when unlocking the device, and when accessing corporate containers.
Neither is a one-size-fits-all solution; a layered approach combining both these technologies is the key to effective enterprise mobility today.