Given that this is a consumer world, consumers are bringing mobile devices into work and accessing corporation information such as email and more from these devices. What features of a MDM solution is typically implemented initially?
I've had experience with one MDM product called MobileIron. I was pretty impressed, and although at the time in 2011 the feature sey was limited I could see the potential. More often than not, IT is going to be dealing with employees who have their own phones and want to connect them into the corporate network. MDM is the best layer to have in between.
@Mark: Does MDM cater to a decentralized environment where IT is required to control the devices at multiple locations and yet be integrated to overall organization-wide device management? Many companies have offices scattered all over the country and they may require this.
"There is a disconnect between what the employee wants and what he should get"
@Michael: If employees are given a choice about a device to choose, I think they'd give preference to the device that meet their personal needs first - fast, looks cool, be easy to carry etc rather than giving preferences to the company needs. There would be conflict of interest in many cases between what's best for the employee and what's best for the company.
"And if their competitor, which offered similar pay and bennies but let employees choose and use their own device, offered them a job, they could be really tempted to jump ship. "
@Alison: While BYOD is certainly a perk to employees, I don't think people consider it as a factor to decide between two jobs. At least from my experience, I haven't seen anyone who'd give that much weightage to this policy before making a job switch decision. However, it can be a good factor to retain employees and keep them happy.
I would say is not a good idea to be too strict as to use of mobile devices. The better way should be to get a good MDM provider and a good policy and hence control things from there. Apart from the fact that often mobile devices are popular with senior people at the company, there's the important employees such as that hot cake programmer...who will not hesitate to walk out when they can't stand the rules.
Sure, companies have final say, @Michael, but a lot of times the people driving BYOD are the CEOs, presidents, CFOs, etc., who sign the checks -- and ultimately oversee IT management. In addition, organizations pay more attention today to keeping employees happy; it has an immediate impact on morale which impacts productivity and keeps good employees coming to work every day, recommending equally high-quality friends for jobs, and representing their employee in the best light. So while companies could insist that everyone uses XYZ by ABC, individuals could well a) limit their use of these devices, driving down productivity; b) use their personal devices anyway, increasing security risks, and c) moan, complain, and carry on but use the work-purchased devices grudgingly, and you can imagine how enthusiastic they'd be about learning new apps or processes associated with these phones or tablets.
And if their competitor, which offered similar pay and bennies but let employees choose and use their own device, offered them a job, they could be really tempted to jump ship.
There is a disconnect between what the employee wants and what he should get. I fail to see where the employees know what is best for the company, thus themselves unless they ore the ones that knows every intimate detail about the entire enterprise.
Hi Michael, I see your point. I see this as two separate issues. Rules need to be enforced but the pressures coming from end users for flexibility won't relent. IT needs to find a way to provide reasonable flexibility while also providing reasonable protection for the business. That's where the recommendation for a broader enterprise mobility strategy comes in with MDM being an important component.
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