Android arrives: Consumerization of IT gets muddy

By , CIO |  IT Management, Android, BYOD

Interestingly, a lot of IT guys are rooting for Android. The reason, I think, is that there's some unexpressed hope that they can lock down the Android OS. They can put on what they want. They can do the monitoring. They can do the auditing. They can reconfigure and redeploy with their own image.

Of course, that's missing the point. It's no longer consumerization of IT, but goes back to the traditional models where IT has control all over again. If you think you have trouble supporting Android with its fragmentation now, just wait until businesses start getting a hold of the source code and recompiling it.

This is a religious war: whether businesses really need to control the innovation and the technology, or whether businesses should just be innovators in their field and let the technology be useful. The story isn't that businesses have lost some sort of advantage in the consumerization of IT. The story is about the fantastic strides consumer technology has made.

Do you think companies will be able to handle the surge of consumer devices coming to their networks?

Freimark: I hope corporate Wi-Fi networks are prepared for it and network admins have their [stuff] together with the number of IPs they'll be giving out. Just the raw number of devices, I wouldn't be surprised if it doubles. We've had to re-engineer our Wi-Fi network a few times over the past few years. We'll have 2,000 people walk through our door, each with two or three devices that they want to get on the network.

How does Android stack up against Apple in the enterprise?

Freimark: Companies may have not have been satisfied with Apple's support in the enterprise, but the reality is that Apple has made big changes in the iPhone, specifically, for businesses. It's not something Apple markets, which is part of the perception problem.

Aaron Freimark of Tekserve

In terms of Android in the enterprise, you have to remember it isn't a unified platform. It's not enough to say you support Android. Which version? Which carrier? Which device? You've got different builds on each device. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, excuse the pun.

You're dealing with a lot of different companies, each with their own policies. Security fixes are not coming directly from Google; they're going through the carrier. Now Google does seem to be making a big effort to get centralized control of some of these critical areas, but those pieces are just beginning.

Are CIOs starting to appreciate Apple's efforts in the enterprise?


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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