Getting a better grip on mobile devices

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The increasing use of smartphones and tablet computers as business tools has brought organizations and their employees new levels of productivity, flexibility and mobility. But their use is a double-edged sword, bringing with it new levels of complexity to IT management and security. To cope, organizations need to put into place new policies for business use. Will employees be permitted to use their personal devices, or is there a company-owned standard? What is the most effective management technology, for the environment? What management toolsfull suite or point solutionswill meet IT needs for manageability and availability, as well as business needs for cost-effectiveness? And organizations always need to ensure that devices and data remain secure in an environment where loss and theft are common. On todays fast-moving, highly competitive smarter planet, where data gathering, information sharing and decision making must continue regardless of the users location, the mobile device is destined to continue growing in popularity and importance. And as smartphones and tablet computers expand their roles from personal communications devices to key interfaces for enterprise applications, the accompanying opportunities for business growth and the challenges for IT management will demand the same exacting standards that organizations apply to the rest of their technology environments.


  • 1. IBM SoftwareThought Leadership White PaperJanuary 2012Getting a better grip on mobiledevicesSolutions and strategies for managing both employee-owned andenterprise-owned equipment
  • 2. 2 Getting a better grip on mobile devicesContents2 Introduction3 The consumerization of IT is changing devicemanagement3 Security is a key driver of mobile device management4 Managing mobile applications is the next big thing5 The management application: Suite vs. point solutions6 Management technology: Agents vs. agentless control7 An emerging focus on the enterprise app store8 IBM solutions deliver a new management paradigm10 Adopting an action plan paves the way for success10 Steps to mobile management success11 Conclusion11 For more information11 About Tivoli software from IBMIntroductionThe increasing use of smartphones and tablet computers asbusiness tools has brought organizations and their employeesnew levels of productivity, flexibility and mobility. But theiruse is a double-edged sword, bringing with it new levels ofcomplexity to IT management and security.To cope, organizations need to put into place new policies forbusiness use. Will employees be permitted to use their personaldevices, or is there a company-owned standard? What is themost effective management technology, for the environment?What management toolsfull suite or point solutionswillmeet IT needs for manageability and availability, as well asbusiness needs for cost-effectiveness?And organizations always need to ensure that devices anddata remain secure in an environment where loss and theftare common.On todays fast-moving, highly competitive smarter planet,where data gathering, information sharing and decision makingmust continue regardless of the users location, the mobile device
  • 3. 3IBM Softwareis destined to continue growing in popularity and importance.And as smartphones and tablet computers expand their rolesfrom personal communications devices to key interfaces forenterprise applications, the accompanying opportunities forbusiness growth and the challenges for IT management willdemand the same exacting standards that organizations applyto the rest of their technology environments.The consumerization of IT is changingdevice managementSmartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices are inthe enterprise to stay. One recent survey of smartphone usersfound that 83 percent of users considered their device moreimportant than their morning cup of coffee. Some 79 percentsaid they use their smartphone more than their office or homephone to conduct business. And 34 percent use it more thantheir computer.1The use in business of a device that began in consumerelectronicssometimes called the consumerization of ITcan significantly empower employees. Allowing employees touse their personal devices for work, as many users prefer inorder to avoid carrying multiple devices, lets them select theplatform and form factor with which they are most comfortable.It enables them to move seamlessly, anytime anywhere, frompersonal to business functions. Allowing employees to use theirown devices can also save organizations the cost of equipmentpurchase.Security is a key driver of mobile devicemanagementEven when used only for email and calendar access, a smart-phone can contain confidential and sometimes regulatedbusiness information. An unsecured device stolen from abriefcase at a meeting or left behind in a taxi can easily putsensitive information into the wrong hands.Worse still, if the device can access even more sensitive businessapplications, any device theft or loss, employee termination,hacking or corruption can mean the loss of unique informationcreated with those applications. And it may give the thief, finder,former employee, hacker or malware purveyor access into theorganizations data stores or centrally managed businessapplications.Security, as a result, is a paramount reason for managingsmartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.Effective mobile device management enables IT to deploy,configure, command and control endpoint security technologieson a wide range of devices. It enables integration and manage-ment of best-of-breed mobile security technologies with anenterprise management solution.Similarly, effective management controls enforce securitypolicies, such as a requirement to enter a personal identificationnumber (PIN) before the device can be activated. To guardagainst data theft, IT should be able to remotely wipe thedevice clean of company-related contents.
  • 4. 4 Getting a better grip on mobile devicesManaging mobile applications is the nextbig thingFor mobile devices, voice and email were just the beginning.These were followed by the ability to easily download consumerapplications directly from the device. The next step is thedevelopment and deployment of business applications throughenterprise application stores. This will make mobile versions ofthird-party software for functions such as customer relationshipmanagement or software developed for the organizations uniquebusiness or technology needs widely and easily available toauthorized users. An effective mobile device managementsolution will provide IT with the tools to deploy and managethese applications, and it will integrate with other solutionsand services designed to create and support applications.Mobile device management solutions can also support compli-ance with regulatory requirements by ensuring that deviceconfiguration or security solutions are properly deployed andmanaged. Management solutions can help enhance deviceperformance and employee productivity by managing settingssuch as screen resolution. They also can track and assesssoftware use to ensure that the organization has the propernumber of licensesneither too many nor too fewfor itsemployees devices.IT organizations need mobile device management solutions thatcan be integrated with existing management infrastructureenabling smartphones and tablet computers to be treated as partof the overall IT environment and eliminating the need forindependent solutions for mobile device management. Aneffective solution is scalable to support the rapidly growingnumber of devices, cross-platform to manage the diversityof devices, and secure to support device and data integrityin out-of-office environments. Vendor services can includedevelopment of business applications, an enterprise applicationstore for easy distribution of applications to devices, andoutsourcing to relieve the infrastructure requirements and ITworkloads as it speeds and streamlines device management.Solutions for mobility: Application lifecycle managementWhile some aspects of the development of a mobile applica-tion are unique, the application development lifecycle followsthe same pattern as for other kinds of software. Applicationlifecycle management (ALM) is necessary to ensure controlleddevelopment and delivery of high quality mobile applicationswithin the budget constraints and time objectives. Even moreimportant is that lifecycle management functions be inte-grated with each other and also with the tools needed foruniquely mobile development tasks. IBM Rational softwareoffers industry-leading solutions for lifecycle management thatare augmented with mobile-specific capabilities for design,coding, security analysis and testing. By leveraging thepublicly available Jazz technology for tool integration andcollaborative team development, Rational addresses the fullmobile development project lifecycle with traceability frominception to completion.
  • 5. 5IBM SoftwareThe management application:Suite vs. point solutionsFrom the users perspective, employing a mobile deviceespecially an employee-owned deviceto support businessapplications and communications can simplify work processes.One major enterprise has reported an average time savings of47 minutes a day, about 10 percent of the typical workday, andincreased productivity when employees were allowed to use thedevices with which they are most familiar and comfortable.2From the IT perspective, however, the proliferation of mobiledevices and the accompanying diversity of operating platformsmost commonly those running Apple iOS and Google Androidoperating systemscreates complexity in management. Thedownside of simplifying users processes with complex anddiverse backend technologies can create heavy IT workloads,management headaches and increased chance of error. Problemscan be compounded when IT attempts to manage diversemobile devices using point solutions that address only specificmanagement tasks, platforms or devices.And while existing device management solutions may beeffective at handing traditional endpoints, they typically arenot well adapted for the special requirements of mobile devices.The lack of solutions for managing both traditional and mobileendpoints, as a result, has forced IT organizations to usestandalone solutions for managing mobile devices. Yet as thenumber and functionality of devices grows, the need for anintegrated suite solution becomes increasingly important.A unified approach with centralized management efficiencies,enhanced visibility into diverse devices and their configurations,and consistent cross-platform reporting can play a key role ingetting under control what can be a mammoth task, if handledpiecemeal.Significantly, a unified approach enhances security and stream-lines reporting for mobile devices. Unified control managesdiverse devices in a consistent manner, eliminating gaps that canoccur with multiple point solutions in the way security is appliedand the way vulnerabilities are reported. The result can simplifyoperations for the user and support greater security for theorganization.Solutions for mobility: IBM Global Technology ServicesIBM Mobile Enterprise Services offers solutions designed toaddress enterprise mobility challenges across the entiremobile device lifecyclefrom procurement and deploymentto mobile device management and security to customapplication development and deployment. Flexible solutionsthat accommodate a variety of mobile devices address awide range of worker requirements, from day-to-day devicemanagement and support to application upgrades andcoordination of deployments, rapid on-boarding of new users,support and problem resolution for end users and assistancewith device configuration, setup and troubleshooting.
  • 6. 6 Getting a better grip on mobile devicesManagement technology:Agents vs. agentless controlAny organization that allows employees to use their personalmobile devices for work sooner or later encounters the samequestion: What technology should IT use to manage a devicethat belongs to an individual? The debate continues regardingagent-based versus agentless management, as there are advan-tages and disadvantages to each.Agent-based management places a small piece of agentsoftware on the device itself that interacts with server-basedmanagement software to enable functions such as turning thedevice on or off, changing configurations, managing applica-tions, enforcing encryption or wiping data and applicationsfrom memory. Advantages lie in the significant levels of controland extensive capabilities that this approach enables. Remotemanagement, controlled by IT as needed, can be automatedto ensure all operations are carried out and that they functioncorrectly. The disadvantage lies in the requirement to installthe agent on the mobile device: Users may not want theorganization to place management software on their personalsmartphone or tablet.Agentless management employs a synchronization approach thatrequires users to connect to a central management site to initiatemanagement functions through the corporate email system. Theadvantage lies in the fact that no software from the organizationresides on the device, making this approach more palatable tomany users. Disadvantages lie in the reduced control overdevices: IT has fewer capabilities at its disposal and cannotenforce continuous compliance.A third management technology approach, however, does exist.Balancing different IT organizations needs for control andsecurity with the users preference for a less intrusive approach,the most effective mobile device management solutions enableboth agent-based and agentless capabilities. This approach alsocan reach a larger number of operating platforms than a singleapproacha significant advantage where some operatingsystems do not allow agents to be installed on devices and wheremanagement capabilities also vary with the OS.Solutions for mobility: IBM Cognos softwareIBM Cognos Mobile enables users to interact with trustedbusiness intelligence content on tablet computers, enablingthem to seamlessly view and interact with business reports,dashboards and analysis either offline or online. Supportingtimely and accurate decisions based on up-to-date informa-tion, the solution makes it easy to get to the right level ofinformation when users need it, including location-awareintelligence that provides information based on the userslocation. The ability to leverage existing business intelligencecontent and a single administrative environment helps ITkeep up with the demands of users on varied devices.
  • 7. 7IBM SoftwareAn emerging focus on the enterpriseapp storeCapabilities for mobile device management are rapidlyevolvingbut IT preferences are already beginning to emergethat favor suite solutions, combine agent-based and agentlessmanagement, and deliver high scalability, reliable security andcross-platform functionality that integrates with the organiza-tions other IT management solutions to create a unifiedmanagement approach.Security management, inventory management, policy manage-ment and software distribution will be core functions, withcapabilities such as Software as a Service (SaaS), managed andoutsourced services, custom software development and supportfor app stores growing in significance.The enterprise application store, in fact, is central to theevolution of smartphones, tablet computers and other mobiledevices from basic communications to highly functional businesscapabilities. The success of the evolution, however, will require anumber of supporting functionsfrom policies that reinforcebusiness operations and support users, to reporting that deliversinsights for better and expanded functions, to security measuresthat reduce risk. Specific functions available now and anticipatedin the coming years include: Security management to guard aga...