Bring Your Own Device?
This is the first in a series on posts that will discuss the Consumerisation of IT. This post looks at some of the Consumerisation of IT market trends, as well as some of the things that businesses need to start looking at now (e.g., mobile device management) in order to effectively take advantage of the cost benefits and savings that the Consumerisation of IT can bring.
CONSUMERISATION OF I.T.
"Consumerisation of IT" is increasingly being mentioned in the IT press but what exactly does this phrase mean? A number of definitions are available but this one seems the most succinct:
“The introduction of consumer-oriented technology and behaviours into the realm of Enterprise IT.”
Examples of Consumerisation of IT include the following:
- Smartphones (iPhone, Androids)
- Tablets (iPad)
- Social networking (Facebook, Twitter)
- Cloud-based services (Dropbox, iCloud)
- P2P-based services (BearShare, BitTorrent)
A 2011 Gartner Webinar, Gartner Top Predictions for 2011: IT’s Growing Transparency and Consumerization, made some interesting predictions based on survey responses that included the following:
By 2014, 90% of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices
- 85% of the respondents have users who demand access for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
- 74% of the respondents already support these devices as personal assets
- "Bring your own PC" programs are growing
- The main driver for adoption of mobile devices will be employees
By 2013, 80% of businesses will support a workforce using tablets
- 75% see end users connecting to the enterprise network with or without permission
- 50% mandated to support iPads by C-level executives
- The majority of the devices will be employee owned
Trend Micro conducted an online survey in June 2011 in the USA, Germany and Japan among IT personnel responsible for endpoint operational management and/or messaging and collaboration operations. The results of the survey, Trend Micro Consumerization Report 2011, showed similar results to the Gartner survey. However, the Trend Micro report also listed the Top 5 Concerns:
- Security, 64%
- Data Loss, 59%
- Compliance, 43%
- Personal Data, 41%
- Privacy, 40%
According to Garner, the Consumerisation of IT is a major threat to Enterprise Security. Recent research suggests that predictions of a relatively slow uptake of smartphones and tablets amongst the general population are proving to be wide of the mark. Media agency Kinetic Worldwide published a June 2011 report that shows:
- 45% of UK consumers already own a smartphone device
- A further 17% planning to acquire one soon
- Tablet ownership is likely to hit 15% in the near future
Clearly, the Consumerisation of IT is a growing trend and although it brings many productivity benefits and cost savings, it brings new challenges too. One of the key challenges is Mobile Device Management. Organisations will need to develop new policies and IT skill sets and deploy mobile device management solutions to support smartphones and tablets.
mobile device management
Sooner or later most organisations will have to cater for the increased diversity of end-user devices, many of which will be employee owned. While numerous solutions exist for the management of laptops, desktops, and servers, the types of end-user devices being introduced into organisations brings new challenges and management requirements.
Although some of the vendors and products have been around for a long time, mobile device management is a relatively new market, and the vendors' offerings have little consistency. Many are little more that point solutions poorly integrated into existing endpoint management products or don’t provide the level of management and control required.
Some solutions are purely point solutions that only address mobile device management and require a company to deploy a separate traditional endpoint management solution. This requires additional hardware and software for the mobile device management environment but, more importantly, additional expertise and thus increases the total cost of ownership.
Mobile devices, by their nature, are easier to lose (or be stolen), rarely connected to the corporate network and tend to operate over a far wider variety of networks than traditional endpoints. The simple act of locating mobile devices requires a well architected solution in order to adequately manage them—gaining access to a device once a week, say, is rarely likely to be a satisfactory device management solution.
The diagram below shows traditional endpoint management needs versus mobile device management needs and where their management needs overlap.
As the diagram shows, traditional endpoints and mobile devices have many of the same management needs. Therefore, from a total cost of ownership point of view, avoiding point solutions for mobile device management and deploying fully integrated traditional + mobile device management solutions makes more sense.
When looking at mobile device management solutions, companies should therefore ask some of the following questions:
- Can I manage my entire endpoint environment with one product set?
- If so, can I develop and enforce generic policies across traditional and mobile devices?
- How well integrated are the traditional endpoint and mobile device management components?
- How is the mobile device management component architected and how often will I be able to gain access to mobile devices in order to manage them?
- If I develop my own custom mobile applications, will I be able to deploy them in a timely and efficient manner?
Future blogs will discuss specific mobile device management products as well as application development tools available for businesses to develop and deploy their own custom applications.