"Where this is leading is dual data plans on the same device," says Mobeen Khan, executive director of advanced mobility solutions at AT&T. "You will have a phone number for the container and one for your personal device."
Anthony Perkins, managing director and CIO at BNY Mellon, is excited about that prospect. "We're talking with Verizon and AT&T on phones with a SIM that has two phone numbers," products that are currently in development, he says. Perkins says that carriers are telling him those products are just a few years out -- AT&T declined to comment on availability -- but whether it's two years or ten, he says, "That's probably the direction we'll go."
But Perkins says those advantages are outweighed by users who are generally more productive due to the multitude of productivity apps available in the Android and iOS worlds. And most importantly, having a BYOD policy is "a great way to recruit and retain young talent."
Because corporate apps and data tend to be mixed in with the user's personal content, mobile device management (MDM) tools tend to be very conservative when it comes to managing corporate resources on users' phones, with policies often applying to the entire device, including both personal and professional apps and data. Users may not be willing to give up control of their smartphones in exchange for receiving access to corporate apps and data.
To get around that user resistance, Perkins is turning to containerization -- an emerging class of management tools that carve out a separate, encrypted zone or policy bubble on the user's smartphone within which some corporate apps and data can reside. In this way, policy controls apply only to what's in the container, rather than to the entire device.
Mostly, containerization tools are complementary to MDM software, with increasing numbers of MDM vendors incorporating containerization techniques.
That said, as great as containment is for limiting corporate liability, it doesn't help any personal data that may be lost due to a wipe if the phone is lost or stolen. Some IT departments are recognizing that users may need help backing up their personal data and apps, and some, like Jacobs Engineering, are helping their end-users get set up with backup systems.