Wavelink Blog

Tag: healthcare

Questions to Ask About BYOD

BYOD. Today it seems everyone involved in any way with enterprise mobility management is constantly being barraged with the term. It’s a buzzword that just isn’t going away, at least not anytime in the foreseeable future. It seems like everyone in the industry has a different take on whether BYOD is a positive or a negative. There are definitely many cases for and against it, but I think most people considering BYOD don’t even ask the most important question: What is the real reason they want to implement BYOD?

BYOD in the Mobile Ecosystem

It sounds basic but this is something that’s almost always overlooked. Is an organization doing it to save money? Is a company looking to BYOD to help increase employee productivity? What IT and security challenges will implementing BYOD raise for a business? In regards to making a decision on BYOD a company needs to weigh both pros AND cons. It’s important that they don’t just jump on board because it’s the hot trending topic. It may be right for your organization or it may be entirely wrong.

In what will be a two-part series, we’re going to focus on two of the questions listed in the paragraph above: the cost of BYOD for a business and IT, and security challenges of implementing BYOD.

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Myths of BYOD

If you ever visit one of the public food courts in Singapore, you’ll find that there are as many as 85 different food vendors and outdoor kitchens side-by-side. Most of these have exactly the same menu as the vendor next to them and they will proudly tell you that. When begin your decision process, the vendors move from talking about the food and how good they can make it taste, and move the sale to talking about why their chef is better than the rest, or why their customer service is a differentiator. From where I sit, BYOD and MDM may have started to morph into exactly that.

Now, I’m not trying to belittle or downplay the importance of the BYOD market, but there have been scores of new vendors that have popped up in the last couple of years, and they are starting to sound a bit like these food vendors by sharing the same features and capabilities. One thing we’ve noticed is that there are some myths that need a little debunking. We’re not saying this just to stir the pot, but most companies need to strongly consider if BYOD is really for them.

BYOD in the Enterprise

Is this really going to save me money?

This has been a huge topic, and there have been a number of studies into whether or not BYOD saves money for those who implement it.

Cisco, for instance, stated a 17-22 percent savings, but that’s not the norm. Tom Kaneshige points out that while hardware costs might be lower, and they no longer have to worry about acquisition cycles, there are hidden costs. A lot of the BYOD crowd is basing savings on workers bringing their own mobile devices to work – tablets, phones, etc. so there is a trade-off between acquisition costs and a number of aspects of control.

One place that costs creep back in is in service plans, and allowing workers to purchase their own vs a negotiated corporate agreement. An Aberdeen report indicates that a big corporate wireless plan breaks down to about $60 per person while the average reimbursement for a BYOD smartphone is $70. If you’re a big enterprise, that can add up really quickly. Kaneshige’s article goes on about other hidden costs, and what it surmises is sometimes you are robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Completely secure

We run up against this all the time. Companies will say that they have verbal and written policies in place. We have the firewall, a secure VPN, etc. but when you start to ask questions things begin to fall apart. A recent study asked workers about using their mobile devices remotely, only 29 percent of users have set passwords that would prevent their device from being used by a thief or co-worker.

While a stranger might not be able to get on the network, without a pass code on the phone, someone could surely access contact lists, to do lists, and company email to access and review a lot of data that companies don’t want other people view or have access.

Productivity

This has been one of the biggest claims amongst those who are leading the BYOD charge. They claim that using a device they “know” will make them work faster and be more productive. They may be more familiar with their device reducing confusion about how the device works, but how much time are they spending playing Angry Birds, keeping up with Words with Friends, posting on Facebook, etc. that isn’t being or can’t be enforced by the company?

There’s no concrete evidence that this is going on, but if my friend, who is using his phone for work, is a test case, then I would suggest it’s more than his employer would like.

Conclusion

BYOD isn’t inherently bad or good. Whether it really works for you depends on how you do business, secure your enterprise, and manage your costs, employees, and infrastructure. I thought it might be useful to at least start talking about a few of the widely cited myths and panacea expectations that we encounter as we talk to potential enterprises considering allowing employees to use their personal devices and computers as part of enterprise working assets. BYOD can be useful and may make sense for you – clearly define your requirements, policies, and expectations moving forward. Make sure you understand how your workforce uses technology and the trade offs of personal freedom on productivity. With that said, you also need to know there are some rough, potentially sharp and harmful edges associated with employing BYOD. I didn’t even mention the potential headaches that accompanies managing BYOD, depending on whatever your definition of managing it might be. Bottom line, can you really control what you don’t own, or should that even be a realistic expectation?

Mobile Ecosystem Predictions for the Rest of the Year

Hope you had a great 4th of July!

Now that we are half way through the year, I thought it’d be fun to throw out some predictions that I and some of my other colleagues see happening over the next six months and on.

First, expect to see continued consolidation in the MDM market, (which we have been lucky enough to participate in). This continues with companies combining their similar but disparate functionality to create more complete overall product offerings, e.g. LANDesk purchases Wavelink, and a few other notables in the fray. These consolidations along with further consolidations in the mobile device markets may muddy the MDM waters for some in the rugged space.

Under consolidation we have point 1.b. We are watching as hardware vendors consolidate their markets by purchasing other rugged vendors who also offer MDM products. As it turns out, they sometimes acquire companies with a preference for a management solution different from their own. Those who have been making a living with “special” functionality specific for their devices will end up with either some quick work to do to homogenize across their device platforms, or abandoning those special features until a later date for their acquired brand devices.

Next, I believe Microsoft Windows 8 will attempt to put a lock on the MDM market for Windows devices. Like the last time they tried this with SCMDM, they might find it difficult unless they can manage non-MS Windows devices including Android and iOS devices.

Finally, I expect to see more companies dip their toe in the water and try On Demand, cloud-based management. I am predicting they will find it to be a cost effective, refreshing change for the better. With that said, some of the more traditional in-premise wifi only devices will sadly never see the internet making this impossible. As long as there are wifi only devices, the need for “self-hosted” MDM systems will remain a requirement for management vendors.

These are only a few for you to think about, but I’d love to hear any predictions you have for the next 12-18 months! Post them in the comments below and let’s talk about them!

Tennessee, Tablets, and the DMV

Here’s one for the “Oh, now THAT’s a great idea” file. Tennessee has recently implemented tablet-based kiosks to reduce wait times in 26 of their DMV locations. Despite the “cool” factor associated with tablets, it also ensures a much smoother experience for motorists. It’s a perfect example of form meeting  function!

The Gizmodo write-up is pretty funny, but all of that aside, it’s a perfect example of the reach of the mobile ecosystem. Where else do you see that tablet kiosks could be useful?

What it Means to Provide for the Mobile Ecosystem

Every now and then, we have the opportunity to tell new customers and/or Partners about what it means to provide solutions for the entire mobile ecosystem, and it struck me that it might make a great topic for a blog post.

When you look at our solutions, the best way to visualize the “how do they all work together?” question is to envision an enterprise within the four walls. Let’s say that the enterprise is divided into the following “sections”, all of which come with their own needs and requirements.

In every Warehouse, applications are being run for a variety of tasks. This is where we begin our circle of mobile ecosystem solutions, via Studio and TE which allow organizations to deliver the aforementioned applications to mobile assets, such as handheld computers. From there, it’s possible that some of those applications are web-based, and therefore require an Industrial Browser or Velocity to render and properly run them. For further productivity, many companies are now looking to voice-enable these very same applications, which as you’ve seen in our Goya Foods video, our Speakeasy product  does quite well.

Let’s continue to our next “section”.

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Enterprise Mobile Security: Making sure IT professionals feel protected

Whether you feel that BYOD is here to stay or if you feel it’s a passing trend with a hot buzzword, the reality is that employees are using their own personal devices in the work place more and more. The bigger reality is that not all of those devices have been approved by corporate IT and therefore policies aren’t in place to keep critical data on those devices safe. In a survey by AirTight Networks 37% of people interviewed said that iPads, iPhones and Android devices were sanctioned technology in their environment. Of those same people surveyed 47% said their organizations supported applications that users were accessing. Not too bad. But when further interviewed a whopping 69% said they were concerned that employees were using mobile hotspots to bypass corporate policies and were concerned about the security of data being transmitted.

With the sheer proliferation of smart devices it isn’t hard to deduce that there are a great many people who have just added their company email to their iPhone quickly and easily and didn’t give it a second thought that these devices weren’t sanctioned or a cause for concern. Checking personal and work email on the go is common for the average employee (and with the iPhone for example you can conveniently get both with one tap). So where do organizations go? Can you force an employee to turn over their personal devices when they pay the bill? What if they pay half the bill and the company picks up the other half? As a corporate IT department can you mandate that job security is directly correlated to use of a smart device? The latter is of course extreme but when confidential information is being accessed on an employee’s personal device the loss of that device could significantly hurt an employer.

A “hope for the best” attitude isn’t proactive either. That “hope for the best” attitude was what 22% of those surveyed responded with – hopefully it isn’t an organization that stores medical information or defense information. So what can an organization do? Educating employees and communicating with employees seems elementary but makes sense. Depending on your business simply asking employees to password protect access to their smart phones is a pretty easy route to take and for those organizations who know sensitive information is being access by employees, a mobile device management software solution really eliminates risks. When BYOD’s are treated like the rest of your ruggedized devices and peripherals it makes BYOD a lot less scary.

Whether it’s a lasting trend or simply a blip until the next greatest invention, airing on the side of caution means either way your data is protected.

Strategies to Secure Your Enterprise in the New World of BYOD – Guest Blog Post!

Smartdevice Info via Web Console

The post below comes from Ashley Furness of Software Advice, discussing her recent research on “Strategies to Secure Your Enterprise in the New World of BYOD.” Hope you enjoy it!

“Hello everyone! My name is Ashley Furness and I am a marketing analyst for research firm Software Advice. I cover emerging trends in CRM, sales, marketing and help desk solutions, such as Wavelink’s Avalanche and Avalanche Remote Control. I’d like to share some research I recently completed on tips for your help desk to combat BYOD-created risks. While this list should not be considered all-encompassing, it should serve as a good starting point.

Smartdevice Info via Web Console

Smartdevice Info via Web Console

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies–or allowing employees to use personal laptops, tablets and smartphones for work-related tasks–benefits employers and users in compelling ways. Workers get to use the device they are most comfortable with, and employers reap increased productivity benefits.

But sensitive corporate data is very likely vulnerable to theft on employee-owned mobile devices.

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MAM, MDM, BYOD, MEAP… Alphabet Soup and a Dose of Confusion

I participated in a discussion of the Enterprise Mobility Group on LinkedIn (which you can link to from our discussion on our own board). It’s addressed towards CIOs, and centers around the growth of Mobile Application Management and it’s impact on Mobile Device Management. Reviewing those comments, and observing the explosive growth of LinkedIn groups targeted at “Enterprise Mobility”, I got thinking about something I’ve noticed for quite a while. 

The market specialists have always seemed very confused when it comes to device management (MDM), mobile application development, and many other areas of mobility. There has always been a tendency to lump multiple technologies together when they really should not be connected. As one example, there has been a tendency for years for media publications to lump “cell phone management” in as part of MDM. Cellular carriers and their channel have always had their own management issues. However, they’re not the same issues a WMS manager has controlling barcode scanners, mobile printers, etc. Yet most industry reports (until very recently), have tended to lump cellular phones, and a whole host of other devices all together when talking “MDM”.

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MDM Market Report Highlights Wavelink: Guest Blog From Galvin Consulting

The post below comes from Carolyn Galvin of Galvin Consulting, and is her exclusive contribution regarding Wavelink and the recent “Key Consideration in Evaluating & Selecting a MDM Solution” study. Hope you enjoy it!

Hello everyone! My name is Carolyn Galvin and I founded the market research firm Galvin Consulting. We are a global network of analysts and researchers specializing in market research, competitive research, and customer satisfaction research. The reason I’m writing this post for you today is because we recently released our latest mobility study on the Mobile Device Management market entitled “Key Considerations in Evaluating & Selecting a MDM Solution.” Our study includes key findings from in-depth interviews with chairmen, SVPs and EVPs at top-tier MDM vendors, including Wavelink. Together, Wavelink and I thought it would be helpful to give you a flavor for what’s in the study, so let’s dive in.

The report highlights how BYOD and the Consumerization of IT have transformed the mobility market and impacted organizations’ reliance on mobile device management solutions, particularly in highly regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services, and among large organizations with geographically dispersed employee populations. 

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Planning and Budgeting for MDM

Mobile Device Management is the new “hot” thing in the enterprise, especially with all the talk of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. We’ve recently posted on BYOD, as have many others. But, I think it’s important to remember that there are other important considerations to think about. Primarily, the cost consideration before you decide on a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.

Research shows that cost is a major concern for those implementing MDM, which makes sense, because any solution has to be worth it! At the core, MDM is focused on reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile assets. A huge factor in these “costs of ownership” is security. Since MDM solutions entered the space, securing information that travels to and from the device, and information that is on the device, has been crucial. If information is ever compromised, companies can lose thousands to millions of dollars. With the BYOD phenomena, the need to control this “cost” has been thrown in the limelight.

Prospects for MDM also now have new delivery options available, which can factor into the cost of a solution. We’ve written and presented extensively on how your cost considerations should match the delivery method that best suites your budget. For some, that’s a SaaS model (low monthly subscription), for others it an on-site install (more investment required up front). Either way, it’s important to know that the installation method you chose will impact costs.

If you’d like to discuss other cost considerations, feel free to email me or discuss in the comments below. Additionally, if you’re interested in TCO and the return on investment for MDM solutions, I’m happy to provide you with our Avalanche ROI Calculator. Just put your info in the “Ask the Advisor” fields to the left with “ROI Calculator” in the comment box, and I’ll follow-up with you.