Mobile device management: Getting started

By Todd R. Weiss, Computerworld |  Consumerization of IT, Mobile Device Management

Edelman employees weren't used to that level of control and they were uncomfortable with it because it involved their personal devices, he says. "People said, 'Well it's my phone and you can't expect me to enter a password and have a screen lock after five minutes.' It was always discussions like that."

That meant getting users to come around to accepting a new sensitivity about the data on their phones, he says. "It's a balance of privacy versus the company's security. People are very unaware of the risks that are posed with the smartphones right now," including hacking, data capture and other security threats with smartphones. Users are typically not thinking about those kinds of risks when they use the devices.

Remote wiping and similar security measures are also used at Carfax, Matthews says, and employees are notified that data wipes can be performed if the devices are lost, stolen or used inappropriately. At the same time, he says, the company also wants to give its workers some freedom to use their devices responsibly.

For instance, Carfax allows employees to use the devices for non-work-related things like watching videos on the road, he said. "People will definitely do the right thing" and not abuse their freedoms with inappropriate behavior and usage, he says. "You just need to give them some guidelines and that's what we've done so far."

A moving target

One of the biggest pain points when it comes to MDM is time pressure because, with mobile devices, there is always something new and different to cope with, says SAP's Bussmann. And there can be a lot of need for IT support.

When SAP began its mobile deployment project in 2010, demand from workers was already high, starting with the first controlled deployment of 1,500 devices, he explains. To cope with this, the company decided to provide the initial user support for those first devices via Web 2.0 using wikis and online help portals. This was a method to reduce demands on the IT teams and give users the help they needed on demand, he said.

It was just the right approach.

"We had only two or three months to enable those devices so we didn't have time for setting up traditional support," Bussmann says. "You look at the Apple devices. There's no big menu there to operate them; they're very intuitive. This approach is similar to that."

At first, Bussmann admits, he wasn't sure that users would accept this non-traditional help system. "To be honest, I told my guys that I'm not sure the users are going to go for that. But there's been a change of user behavior, definitely."


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