Enterprise mobility is a business issue
The discussion for mobility in enterprise, and developing a mobile strategy must be led by business leaders, not IT.
That was the response to a question from the TechFire audience at the most recent event where the question was posed, can mobility be an enterprise strategy. In the context of tackling a business culture that was not receptive to mobile working, Paul Conaty, solutions architect, CWSI, said that it is not IT’s role to lead this discussion.
“It is a business strategy. It should be the business leaders, supported by IT, who should champion it,” said Conaty, at whatever level was appropriate.
However, Conaty added that people need to be brought along with it. Explain to them what data is going to be collected and for what, he said, allowing them to understand what the benefits are and that will go a long way towards acceptance.
Security is a perennial concern and questions arose both around general security and the worrying demonstration of mobile device cloning.
Suzan Sakarya, channel manager EMEA, Wandera, said that there are solutions that can detect when a user is visiting a compromised web site, or is the subject of a man in the middle attack, and mitigate these threats.
However, she added that user behaviours also need to be taken into account, with acceptable usage policies for mobile devices becoming increasingly important. Unlimited access as regards data is now common because cost is not an issue, she said, but compliance is still very important.
A question from the floor asked about personal usage of devices, as well as supporting corporate services, with a specific query about segregation.
Sakarya said that this is a real issue, as most users are accustomed to thinking of a device as a personal device. Even if it is provided by the organisation, and it is difficult to change that behaviour.
Conaty said there are specific tools for this such as Samsung Knox, and that Blackberry too has good containerisation solutions. He added that it is down to the organisation to see which solution or approach works best and suits the needs, but that data classification, to know what to protect and at which level, was a necessary step before such implementations.
Damian Duffy, head of mobility, eir Business, said that while there are solutions out there, usability and user experience must be borne in mind. Containerisation can make the user experience very poor, he said, and that can have a knock-on effect for acceptance and adoption.
Another question from the floor addressed the issue of data that had already been leaked from mobile and was now in the wild, asking if it was possible to track and potentially retrieve such data.
Conaty said that most mobile device management (MDM) vendors had some tool set for this utilising digital rights management (DRM), but again, it required a rigorous data classification exercise facilitate it.
Interestingly, a show of hands from the floor found that only a small portion, around 15% of those present, said they had a mobile strategy, while almost all present confirmed that they did provide some level of mobile access to users.