5 consequences of poor BYOD management

Tablet-Eating-100-Dollar-BillBring your own device (BYOD) has slashed hardware and maintenance costs and fueled mobile productivity at companies large and small, and adoption is accelerating. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 45 percent of organizations will be all BYOD, while 40 percent will offer a mixed program, and only 15 percent won’t have any BYOD program in place.

But while BYOD can be a positive policy for numerous industries, it’s not going well for all organizations, especially those that have ignored the potential hazards associated with the policy.

Last year I discussed two unexpected consequences of BYOD, but since then the risks have expanded as available technology diversifies and new mobility demands arise. Here are five additional pitfalls of BYOD environments, and how organizations can avoid them: Continue Reading…

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4 steps to mobile device management for small businesses

There’s no denying or avoiding the proliferation of personal mobile devices in the workplace. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2017, half of all employers will require employees to supply their own devices. This forecast is based on a global survey of CIOs that found that 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016.

For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), BYOD is a no-brainer, as it eliminates overhead and often reduces service and data costs. However, it also introduces a lot of unknowns into a company’s IT environment that few companies are equipped to manage.

Organizational supervision of personal mobile devices in an IT environment is lacking. Only 37 percent of SMBs are managing or plan to manage these devices using a mobile device management (MDM) solution. Without MDM, companies with a BYOD policy in place are at risk for security breaches, data leakage, and the financial losses associated with both.

If your business doesn’t yet have an MDM solution in place, it’s time to find one. Here are four best practices for managing the personal devices in your organization that will help you implement a formal MDM strategy: Continue Reading…

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Announcing complete mobility solutions, from SHI Mobility Services

Today marks the official launch of SHI Mobility Services. I say “official” because much of SHI Mobility Services is based on work we’ve been doing for our customers for several years, and now we’ve brought together the complete suite of hardware, software, and services needed to create an integrated and customized mobility solution that meets any need. This is a big move for both SHI and our customers.

The way people look at mobility has changed drastically and quickly. Four years ago, BlackBerry was growing by leaps and bounds, as it fit the need for a tightly controlled enterprise mobile strategy centered on email. Then we gradually started to see companies buying more and more Apple iOS devices, followed by an explosion of interest in Android devices. Email is still important, but mobile is now more about apps and access to information.

SHI Mobility Services reflects this change. SHI still offers BlackBerry, because we think that they remain an important player, but SHI Mobility Services goes across platform – Apple iOS, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry – to provide a completely customized mobility offering for our customers. And it’s not just mobile devices, but also the hardware, software, and services needed to plan, implement, and manage mobile in any size organization. Continue Reading…

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Everyone needs mobile device management, but nobody’s buying it

A study by B2B International recently highlighted the slow adoption of mobile device management (MDM) software. It revealed that only 11 percent of the companies surveyed had an MDM solution in place to ensure those employees with mobile phones and tablets are complying with corporate security policies. This tells us that even though the entire industry is talking about bring your own device (BYOD) programs, very few companies are correctly implementing them.

According to Gartner, this problem will only grow in the coming years, as the BYOD trend shows no signs of slowing down. Shortly after the B2B International study, Gartner predicted that over the next five years, 65 percent of enterprises will adopt an MDM solution. However, the B2B study suggests that companies aren’t embracing the challenge of securing corporate data on mobile devices.

Our experience in working with SHI customers integrating mobile devices into their enterprises show the accuracy of both of these studies — MDM adoption is slow despite heavy BYOD use.

The IT departments I talk to recognize this problem and want to manage their devices, but they’re having problems determining which solution is best for them. They don’t want to spend money on one solution, only to find out six months later it wasn’t the right fit.

The problem lies within the industry. There’s so much noise that people are becoming confused. There are hardware solutions for BYOD, and there are software solutions. Some solutions are touted by big-box security companies, while others are from no-name, angel-funded startups. Without the proper education, companies don’t know which solution to choose, and the problem falls to the wayside.

So today, I’d like to share the top-five pieces of advice I give my customers to help them pick the correct MDM solution for their organization: Continue Reading…

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Windows 8 licensing: Your old license is obsolete, and so is your old BYOD policy

With the debut of Windows 8, Microsoft is also unveiling a new licensing model that has significant impact on companies that are using desktop virtualization and, specifically, have BYOD policies. With this post, I’m going to explain what these changes are and then we’ll make some recommendations for how your BYOD policies needs to be updated to align with the new licensing. First, let’s look at the changes.

Traditionally, Windows desktop licensing has always been an OEM license that came with the option of upgrading and adding software assurance via volume licensing. That was meant to cover basically any device that was connecting to a virtualized desktop installed on a server. With Windows 8, Microsoft is making it very important that you are the primary user of the primary licensed device in your environment.

Now, you not only get the virtual desktop access rights that you’ve always gotten (four virtual machines per licensed device), but it also comes with Windows To Go rights — meaning you can sideload a full Windows 8 OS onto a thumb drive for remote usage. Take that, Linux fans! Continue Reading…

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Mobile Device Management: On cloud or on premise, your pivotal decision

It wasn’t long ago when mobile device management was a pretty simple matter. You outfitted your teams with BlackBerrys, you went with a BES solution, and the world was a wonderful place. Then along came Steve Jobs with the iPhone and changed the game for everybody.

Once the iPhone was released, Android and Windows Phone soon followed, and users started streaming into their organizations with all manner of smartphones (much to the chagrin of IT admins everywhere). And let’s not mention tablets. As any IT leader will tell you, all but the BlackBerry were unmanageable in the early days of the emergence of the mobile enterprise.

That’s the bad news. The good news: Over the past few years the landscape has changed, and dramatically so. The mobile device management (MDM) space has become very competitive, with more than 100 different mobile device management vendors in the game to date. While this certainly provides a great deal of choice for the buyer, it dramatically increases the complexity for IT leaders who have to sift through myriad offerings to find the solution that fits their organization. Continue Reading…

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VMworld 2012 wrap-up: What’s on the Horizon

When I wrote this post, my plane was soaring 34,000 feet above the eastern edge of San Francisco, rocketing me away from VMware’s ninth-annual VMworld 2012. It really seemed the place — floating above the clouds, catching a glimpse of the sun hitting the horizon — to reflect on some of the new products revealed at this year’s worldwide users conference.

The cloud played a leading role this year (as you can expect with any big tech conference nowadays) as vendors demonstrated how small business could use the cloud to create, automate, and provision their own cost-effective private clouds.

But I think the announcement that got everyone the most excited (and let’s be honest, it would only ever get a cheer in a room full of nerds) was that VMware is stepping away from its vRAM licensing model. Rather than pricing based on the amount of memory provisioned inside the environment, it will be based on the number of CPUs on the physical machines used to run the virtual environment, regardless of the power of those CPUs.

But VMware had a lot more in store for us than just licensing news. Here’s a look at my top-three takeaways from VMworld 2012. Continue Reading…

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VMworld 2012 wrap-up: What’s on the Horizon

When I wrote this post, my plane was soaring 34,000 feet above the eastern edge of San Francisco, rocketing me away from VMware’s ninth-annual VMworld 2012. It really seemed the place — floating above the clouds, catching a glimpse of the sun hitting the horizon — to reflect on some of the new products revealed at this year’s worldwide users conference.

The cloud played a leading role this year (as you can expect with any big tech conference nowadays) as vendors demonstrated how small business could use the cloud to create, automate, and provision their own cost-effective private clouds.

But I think the announcement that got everyone the most excited (and let’s be honest, it would only ever get a cheer in a room full of nerds) was that VMware is stepping away from its vRAM licensing model. Rather than pricing based on the amount of memory provisioned inside the environment, it will be based on the number of CPUs on the physical machines used to run the virtual environment, regardless of the power of those CPUs.

But VMware had a lot more in store for us than just licensing news. Here’s a look at my top-three takeaways from VMworld 2012. Continue Reading…

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The 2 unexpected consequences of BYOD and how SHI can help

BYOD is a good thing for organizations both in and outside of the IT industry. People who bring their own device to work might drastically slash the cost of maintaining and refreshing every employee’s machine. Because the employee owns the item, the manufacturer’s warranty usually takes care of repairs. The problems generally begin when organizations try to figure out how to secure it.

Security is viewed as the biggest problem with BYOD. However, BYOD has brought a lot of other unexpected consequences to the forefront, for everyone from the CIO all the way down to the IT managers. Today, I’ll outline the top unexpected consequences of BYOD, explain SHI’s approach to combating those issues, and go over some tips for customers who are trying to implement an effective BYOD strategy in their organizations.

  • Securing hundreds of mobile devices. The explosion of the iPad and other mobile devices has caused a major issue for employers. The last time I counted, there were over 100 new tablets added to the market over the past few years. People bringing their own device into the work environment are allowing company data to reside on their devices. With that comes the risk of employees losing their phone, which automatically puts the company at a huge liability. The solution to this is to employ a mobile device manager (MDM). Once installed on a device, it can remotely wipe all the company-owned data from mobile devices.

Continue Reading…

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How to maintain business continuity with a virtualized infrastructure

The benefits of virtualization are well known at this point. It’s not like it’s a new technology. It’s been an industry standard for the last five or six years, if not longer. However, we’re still seeing some mid-market customers that are hesitant to jump on the virtualization bandwagon. While many of these organizations don’t have a robust Fortune 50-type infrastructure, that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from virtualization.

Those benefits are extensive. For example, the consolidation of an organization’s IT infrastructure, and anytime, anywhere access to its applications.

The main concern frequently expressed in our conversations with customers who are considering a switch to virtualization is in regards to business continuity. IT is being challenged more than ever to assure critical applications are always available to support lines of business.

Continue Reading…

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