Are enterprises still in denial about online app usage?


After spending a couple days at the RSA Conference in San Francisco last week, it's easy to believe that most savvy people in the corporate IT world are tracking and evaluating the kinds of things talked about at Moscone Center, like "sandboxed apps" and containerized devices. But are all CIOs and enterprises tracking employees' consumer cloud behavior?

According to a story Monday in the New York Times, there's reason to believe that some enterprises still haven't started to tackle the problem. Though it is a bit short on actual anecdotes, the story, titled Where Apps Meet Work, Secret Data Is At Risk, raises the kind of questions we're trying to find answers to here at Mobile Enterprise 360. I especially like the quote from the IT director named at the top of the story, who says "there’s only so much you can do to stop people from forwarding an e-mail or storing a document off a phone.”

Well -- I would say that there are in fact a lot of things you can do to stop people from forwarding emails or storing documents on mobile devices. Again, maybe the RSA attendees and speakers are at the front of the curve but I have heard real-world stories already about deployments that only work in a limited geographical area -- geo-fencing I think is the term -- and apps that don't allow mobile users to copy and paste data. But the Times story doesn't even talk about simple things like the ability to separate work and personal data on a phone, a feature in the news of late with announcements from BlackBerry and Samsung. Instead the Times story seems a few years old in savvy, saying things like "companies do not want to stand in the way of 'life splicing.' "

Do they or don't they? My take is that in reality most enterprises have seen this problem already and are actively taking measures to control it. This is a perfect place to chime in, if you're here reading this far. Where is your enterprise at when it comes to controlling consumer cloud app use? Already working on a plan, or just talking about it still? Visit us at Mobile Enterprise 360 to join the conversation.

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