Smarter approach to device management.

Corporate-owned, personally-enabled can balance the needs of security, finance and end-users.

The modern workplace focuses on empowering workers and continually adapting to changes in the ways that people use technology to do their jobs. Nowhere has enterprise IT been more democratized than in the use of smartphones. So how can companies ensure a great user experience while staying on top of mobility costs and security?

The ‘own device’ movement

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has made business leaders re-evaluate their traditional thinking around smartphone and tablet  usage and focus more on how individual employees want to work. Enterprises have embraced BYOD and begun to enjoy the benefits it brings in terms of flexibility, agility and productivity.

However, organizations have recognized that while employees should have a say in what devices they use and how they use them, there is an argument for the devices being company owned. Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) has been gathering momentum and gives organizations more control as it includes a preapproved device which is owned by the company. The employee can choose from an approved list of devices in a custom corporate portal.

Following on from CYOD is COPE, or Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled. Under COPE, workers are given devices that have been  purchased by the company, effectively ‘loaned’ to them with which they can perform both work and personal tasks. The main differentiator between COPE and CYOD is that COPE gives enterprises much tighter legal control – for example, searching the device for corporate intellectual property is a lot more straightforward than in CYOD. So if an organization has highly complex compliance or security requirements, such as financial institutions or health care providers, COPE can be the MDM approach that gives them the  required  control and peace of mind.

Security remains paramount

One thing that does not change is the importance of ensuring stringent security protocols within an enterprise mobile device management strategy.

The 2016 Spotlight Report into BYOD and mobile security found that only 30 percent of organizations intend to increase security budgets for BYOD over the next twelve months. This despite companies saying their top four concerns about BYOD were data leakage or loss (72 percent), unauthorized access to company data or systems (56 percent), users downloading unsafe apps or content (54 percent) and malware (52 percent).

In terms of BYOD and CYOD device security, protecting devices from unauthorized access is essential, with ways to do this including enforcing lock screen passcodes, installing mobile malware detection software, and putting in place device-level encryption. Other beneficial security techniques include mobile authentication services, mobile application management and unified services, but challenges still remain. Data privacy and keeping company data confidential is always an issue, and organizations must also manage ownership of any intellectual property that is created using any device used for work, irrespective of ownership.

The continuing need for MDM

As enterprises continue to reap the benefits of mobility, albeit with the intrinsic security concerns it undoubtedly carries, the need for MDM will go hand-in-hand. MDM is an enabler; it gives IT departments more control of what employees can and cannot do on smartphones and tablets on the corporate network, manages access and gives administrators control of policy enforcement.

A few years ago Gartner predicted that by 2017, half of employers would require employees to supply their own devices. Actual take-up numbers are hard to pinpoint, but BYOD has certainly made its way into the corporate mainstream and as such organizations need MDM policies to manage it. For organizations still baulking at BYOD, CYOD and COPE would seem to offer realistic alternatives for meeting essential mobility management needs.

Orange and MDM

At Orange, we have worked strategically to offer tailored solutions for enterprise mobility management which differ based on customers’ business and technical requirements. We focus on enabling flexibility through public, hybrid or private cloud hosted options underpinned by security solutions and enhanced with unified communications and collaboration (UCC) services.

Leading international chemicals company Solvay is one company to benefit from Orange MDM solutions. Orange Business provided MDM for 7,500 mobile devices hosted in the Orange Business cloud, with the aim of simplifying global device management and lowering costs. Positive outcomes included greater internal collaboration, secure access to corporate data from any smartphone or tablet and improved app distribution. This in turn had the desired effect of lowering costs, making enterprise mobility easier to manage and providing centralized control.

What comes next for MDM?

As with all things mobile, nothing stays still for long. The Internet of Things continues to drive mobility forward, so enterprises can look forward to a whole new raft of MDM-related acronyms landing on the corporate doormat soon. Since mobility no longer means just phones and tablets, the sheer weight of connected ‘things’ in IoT, including wearables, means companies can expect to instigate policies to cover BYOT (Bring Your Own Thing).  

Talk to us about how to secure your mobile devices and manage telecoms expenses.