It seems like 2012 is certainly the year that the Enterprise will be dealing with mobile devices on a very large scale. There are seemingly endless discussions regarding all of the new services that have popped up over the past couple of years (over 70 companies now self identifying as Mobile Device Management – MDM providers). Unfortunately, it appears the marketing hype has caused more confusion than solutions. To that end, I am beginning a new series on the “Fundamentals of Enterprise Mobility Management”. Instead of doing extensive product or service reviews, this series will focus on the Enterprise and the challenges of mobile devices (tablets and phones) from both a Corporate Provided and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) perspective. I have a rough outline for the series, but please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email if there is a particular aspect I have overlooked or you think should be covered next. Let’s get started.
Introduction (and a little historical perspective)
Over the past 5 years we have seen significant changes in the consumer market with respect to mobile devices. Prior to this time, “Smart” phones were relatively expensive and therefore typically used by employees who received them from their employers. In the past, IT organizations would evaluate various new technologies and carefully plan rollout plans for deploying and managing new technologies.
Based on a recent survey done by comScore, 60% of all people in the US purchasing phones are choosing a smartphone. It is easy to see why the Enterprise is now being flooded with requests by employees to access corporate resources using their new devices (smartphones and tablets). Furthermore, employees are requesting tools optimized for their mobile platforms to gain more efficient access to corporate resources. Many Enterprises are trying to use their old approaches to address this issue. They think they can simply evaluate each of the new mobile devices being presented and develop rollout plans for each “supported” device as they gain confidence in their ability to manage and secure each physical device. This approach was relatively effective during a time when the corporation would select a couple of preferred vendors providing PC based products with multi-year life cycles. There are three major differences with the introduction of the mobile platform:
- The consumer/employee is often the purchaser of the device (they want the latest NOW)
- The life cycle of a single mobile platform is one year (or less)
- The consumer/employee is selecting their own device, creating the potential for dozens of vendors
With these major differences, the Enterprise needs to recognize that the old approach of tackling and approving individual devices after first determining how to secure and a manage each device is no longer a viable approach. This approach has caused great division between the employees and the IT and corporate management. The results can be quite devastating:
- Employees presented with burdensome controls on their mobile devices often choose to remove the IT installed management applications
- Employees will often pool together to identify ways to circumvent corporate policies to gain access to corporate resources
- Corporate private information will often be intentionally or unintentionally placed onto public services to gain access to non-secured devices
- Employees will adopt a perception of “them vs us” regarding corporate IT – leaving a general morale issue due to corporate slowness in adopting new technology
The Wrong Question
The question most Enterprises are asking is, “So, how do we manage the endless proliferation of mobile devices?” That is the wrong question!
It is critically important for the Enterprise to recognize that the issue isn’t one of determining how to secure and manage the DEVICE. In many cases the Enterprise doesn’t own the device and the user/consumer will be using it for many activities including non-work functions. So if that is the wrong question, what is the RIGHT question?
We will begin to explore the RIGHT question in part 2!
This week we learned of a few apps (Path and Hipster) that are uploading all or part of our address book to their servers without any consent from the user. I imagine there are probably many apps that are doing this. Many are focusing on the obvious issue of privacy, but it really got me thinking about the various possible motives, malicious or not.
I was really intrigued by the response given by Dave Morin, CEO of Path in response to Arun Thampi’s discovery. He clearly recognizes that it should not have been done, but he goes on to justify that they did this to help facilitate connections for the user. He goes on to talk about how important it is to reduce as much friction as possible in enabling people to do this matching with their friends. He goes as far as to describe it as being “important to the industry”. After reading the response, it seems very clear that Dave Morin is very genuine in his response, but what really caught my attention was the prioritization of social interaction over privacy. I don’t know Dave Morin, and I am not trying to pick on him. His response just seems to really highlight the transition we are seeing where people actually believe that any action that enhances our ability to engage socially should be of more value than some of our fundamental rights. Is this a result of our infusion of online social connectivity into every aspect of our lives?
So, my question is Where Are We Going? I am an enormous advocate of social media and value the ability to keep in touch with friends, interact during conferences, etc. I would never dispute the value those tools bring our lives. However, it is very important that we continue to recognize the value and importance of privacy. Regarding the question of which one is MORE important. The laws of this country have already made that decision for us.
In a recent conversation with a prospective client, the topic of marketing iPhone/iPad apps was being discussed. I find these conversations to be quite interesting since many of the companies I speak with have already successfully marketed other products and services to their clients. Everyone recognizes that the iPhone and iPad have made a significant impact on virtually every industry and market, AND everyone is aware that native iOS applications are sold through a non-traditional vehicle, the Apple App store. So, what is it that is so different about marketing these apps?
A quick search for “How to Market iPhone Apps” in Google returns over 385,000,000 results. Many of the top results are “specialized” marketing companies that claim to have unique, inside knowledge of how to market apps. I have been in sales/marketing/strategy roles for products and services for well over 20 years. While there are unique differences due to the Apple App store, many of the fundamentals of marketing from the past 20 years STILL APPLY today when marketing apps. As with marketing any other product or service, there is no magic formula or hidden secrets. Since there is so much confusion in this area, I thought I would put together some fundamental marketing basics and then provide a high-level set of steps to consider when marketing your app.
The entire corporate IT world has been discussing BYOD (bring your own device) for several years now. With the introduction of the iPhone and more recently the iPad and usable Android devices, the challenge is clearly being presented to every enterprise. It seems there are endless blog or forum postings asking “what should I do?” when it comes to IT governance and which Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Mobile Application Management (MAM) service should I use in my respective organization? As a result, there is a “feature war” happening amongst the vendors to talk about why their approach and solution is “best”.
There are several analyst reports that have been recently published that do a great job of laying the foundation of the strengths and weaknesses of each one. Our human tendencies are to read through all the tables and charts and to just pick the one that has the most boxes checked and has a large installed base. While this may seem like a safe route to go down, I would suggest that this is a recipe for disaster!
It is easy to comprehend a “large” corporation implementing an overall mobile management strategy as they have lots of employees and a greater perceived risk if internal assets were exposed, right? I think the thought that this is only an issue for “large” corporations is not only naive, but irresponsible. Let’s stop for a second to discuss how the world has changed.
In the past 12 months alone, consumer adoption of mobile devices has grown by over 50% (comScore – Digital Omnivores / Oct 2011 and Ericsson utilization report Nov 2011). 36.1% of Americans over the age of 13 are now using smartphones (comScore Aug 2011). Proliferation of WiFi (secured and unsecured) is assisting in the increased use of mobile devices with 37.2% of US mobile device activity occurring via a WiFi connection. It is clear that our employees (regardless of the size of our company) have mobile devices.
Next we need to examine when they are using the devices (are they using them at work) and we need to understand what they are doing on the devices to determine if there is warranted risk. According to the comScore Dec 2011 report, 38% of all smartphone users have made a purchase using their smartphone. Of those purchases, 42% made a purchase while at work! According to Google’s 2011 usage study, 89% used their smartphones throughout the day, 72% used them while at work. In Nielsen’s July 2011 report on app usage, games topped the charts at 64%, followed by weather (60%) and social networking (56%). If you still are not convinced that lots of opportunities exist to share information during work, take a look at Luke Wroblewski’s article discussing when people are utilizing various devices accessing data such as news.
Now that we have a better understanding that my employees probably already have smartphones, and we know they are using them for all sorts of activities throughout the day, what do we do to protect the company?
Here are a couple of very simple steps to get you started in establishing a mobile management strategy:
- Evaluate the risks – what information do they have access to?
- Based on the risks, determine what services need to have controlled access
- Determine the level of isolation each data source requires (complete sandbox or just controlled access
- There are lots of choices for Mobile Device/Application Management (MDM/MAM), including on-premise and cloud/SaaS solutions. Gartner has a great resource: Critical Capabilities for Mobile Device Management (July 2011)
- Use the monitoring tools to identify potential threats and to determine where you may need to strengthen your strategy
Here are a few of the studies used to compile this article:
comScore Mobile Shopping Goes Mainstream
comScore Purchases from Smartphones
Nielsen – Popular Mobile Apps