BYOD and MDM Drive Need for a New Buyer’s Guide

Information Technology Divisions (I.T.) traditionally does not deal with securing a device that has not been issued and controlled by them.  Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has exploded across industries. Rapid adoption of iPhone and Android devices displaced Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) in the mobile enterprise email space. Adoption of new devices drives the need for Mobile Device Data Management software to assert control.

For example, in Microsoft client and server networks everything had matured to the point of predictability and most devices were handled within similar user, device and data security controls boundaries.  I.T. is generally unprepared for the demands from BYOD, resulting in increased risks. I.T. continues to struggle with user requirements to use their own devices with local to global mobility.

In that regard, uncertainty around how to best manage security and regulatory risks spawn a new approach to securing mobile devices.  Mobile Device (Data) Management (MDM) software brings the promise of I.T. control while allowing the user satisfaction advantages of BYOD. 
MDM vendors are quick to step in to emulate the secure transfer and storage of email provided by legacy software and devices, i.e. BES.  I.T. soon found that device risks went well beyond email as a comprehensive broader functionality and mobility proliferated.
There are over thirty (30) MDM software solutions to choose. Like all buying scenarios, too many choices create confusion. Confusion about how best to approach MDM software purchases remains prevalent.  There are at least eight (8) major areas of concern.  Each area consisting of multiple crucial questions:

  1. Infrastructure – How should I.T. deploy MDM (e.g. On premise, Cloud based or a Hybrid)?
  2. Security – Can I.T. detect and manage Jail broken or rooted devices?  Can I.T. force encryption options for data-at-rest and data-in-flight?  Can data be wiped off of a device, without wiping an entire device?
  3. Device Support – What devices should an enterprise support (e.g. Apple IOS)? Can we consider devices of different operating system (e.g. IOS 3, 4, 5, 6)
  4. Lost or Stolen Devices – Can lost or stolen devices be managed to reduce data breach risk?
  5. Scalability – Can I.T. effectively scale a software solution to meet user mobility demands?
  6. Ease of administration – Can I.T. enforce device policies?  Does I.T. need to physical touch the device in order to effectively manage security?
  7. Applications – Can we blacklist applications on devices?  Can applications be deployed from within our Enterprise (e.g. Private App Store)?
  8. Alerting and Reporting – Can we effectively report on new devices, devices with blacklisted applications, etc? 
While I.T. grapples with choices across multiple software products, users want choice in their devices.  Business leaders faced continued pressure to satisfy users in an effort to hire the most skilled. Wireless access and mobility is quickly becoming the preferred access method for all users.
 In May 2012, Mark Fidelman of Forbes reported the following;

  • More than 50% of network devices ship without a wired port
  • By 2015, there will be 7.4 Billion wireless devices
  • 1.2 billion smartphones will enter the market over the next 5 years
  • Enterprise tablet adoption will grow by almost 50%
  • By 2015 mobile app development will outnumber PC projects by 4-to-1
While Business Leaders view mobility as a productivity driver and hiring tool, BYOD will only increase importance.  Mobility will drive the enterprise and users will continue to demand choice for mobile data access. This mobility perimeter shift drives the demand for securing wireless access, user access, and management of the end-points. MDM is poised to continue an increase in importance.
It is for this reason DCIG has begun the development of an Inaugural Buyer’s Guide on Mobile Device Management. As with all Buyers’ Guides, this guide will help users assess and understand available MDM products in the market.
DCIG has defined the inclusion and exclusion requirements for this guide (subject to change):

  • Product must be shipping by 4/15/13
  • Product must be marketed as MDM
  • Must provide functionality as original software, not OEM
  • Must support functionality through software, not services
  • Must support Android and IOS, may support Windows 8
  • There must be sufficient information available to DCIG to make meaningful decisions.
After meeting these requirements, DCIG expects to weight, score and rank over 30 vendor products from Basic to Best-in-class against these categories (subject to change): 

  • Security and Compliance
  • Operating Environment
  • User Experience
  • Management
  • Support
DCIG understand the need for these sought after Buyers’ Guides. In that regard we expect to publish the DCIG 2013 Mobile Device Management Software Buyer’s Guide in Q2 2013.

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