EMM More than Technology

Recent high-profile hacks have revealed that all organizations are susceptible to attack, and that all information has value. Instead of IT convincing CEOs they should probably have an enterprise mobility solution in place, C-level staff now sometimes drive discussions as they consider their mobility strategies, said Nicko van Someren, CTO of Good Technology.

"The key to keeping personal and corporate data securely on a single device is to be able to maintain a strong and clear separation without interfering with the user experience," he said. "If a corporate security model is too cumbersome, then employees will find a workaround, incurring a huge risk for their company."

The right mobile security solution should allow a company to control the flow of corporate information between applications and data in and out of the device without impacting users. Separating and containerizing sensitive data allows one device to do both of these jobs, while also balancing usability and security.

"Designing security strategies with a consistent end-user policy around how corporate devices or corporate apps get utilized on personal devices ensures employees adhere to these policies," said van Someren.

Manoj Raisinghani, vice president of Product Marketing, Mobile Platforms group at Citrix, cites the biggest driver for EMM as the fact that the average employee uses multiple devices a day on work-related tasks and owns at least one of them. He said effective EMM requires:

  • underlying security for access across all hops in the network;
  • reliable authentication of the device and the user (identity management) across secure zones or domains;
  • the security of applications in the mobile environment with wrapping or containers;
  • encryption of data at rest on the device or on premise and over the air;
  • and policies that enable reasonable governance of device(s), users and apps

"EMM is as much about experience as it is about management of devices, apps, data and its users, as it leads to more productivity in the enterprise," Raisinghani said.

Enterprise Mobility Management's Next Wave

Beyond that, EMM is evolving further. The next wave could well be the move from simple management to enabling an enterprise to "mobilize" its business. This includes easing the creation of new mobile apps and simplifying the use of existing mobile apps, as well as enabling them to connect to back-end business systems such as HCM, CRM and ERP via APIs.

"Employees have come to expect that they can work from anywhere on any device with secure and instant access to corporate information and their favorite business apps," Raisinghani said. "A fully integrated mobile workspace is easier to implement, configure, scale and manage. The best solutions will unite mobility management, virtualization, networking and cloud service technologies into a secure mobile workspace, supporting existing computing and communications infrastructures and applications as well as future mobile opportunities."

Gartner's Cosgrove concurs. He said the next wave of EMM will represent true convergence. He doesn’t see it being fully realized for another five to seven years, however, until a single tool for all endpoints is feasible.

Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in Florida, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).