Last week a few of us at Zix attended the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Orlando, Fla. From workshops, to keynotes, to roundtables, the four-day event focused on today’s digital world and how it’s redefining IT.
ZDNet Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan attended the conference and shared his thoughts about the on-site Enterprise Mobility Management exhibitors. His key takeaway was that he couldn’t hear through all the white noise and concluded “many vendors sounded alike.”
We hear ya Larry (or maybe not, since it IS sounding a little noisy)!
He proceeded to write:
Simply put, bring your own device (BYOD) policies are a pain to manage, the security stakes are only getting higher and mobility is pervasive. Meanwhile, enterprise mobility management (EMM) vendors are still being sorted out.
Well, Mr. Dignan, to that we say:
You bring up some very valid points.
BYOD, while well-intentioned, can make IT managers, CIOs — and especially employees — want to pull their hair out.
The downfall of most EMM/MDM solutions — and vendors you spoke with — is that they pose too many restrictions or too much control over the user’s device. Quite simply, they don’t have the end user in mind. Employees wanting more convenience brought the BYOD movement to light, and EMM is putting us right back where we started — to the old days of restricted corporate-supplied devices.
Most companies are completely unaware that there’s another option, so they settle for something less than what meets the needs of IT and their employees.
At Zix, we’re shouting from the rooftops to let them know — THERE IS A BETTER WAY!
In the coming years, we’re going to start seeing the use of mobile apps that enable access to corporate assets on the employee’s personal device without allowing that corporate data to actually reside on the device.
There are two key benefits to this.
- First, keeping data off the device limits the potential for compromise if the device is lost or stolen and taken offline.
- Second, it gives employees the freedom to use their devices how they please, without worrying about tradeoffs like remote wiping, invasion of privacy or a compromised user experience.
Let us give you an example.
On the show floor, we had several government organizations approach us saying that the “no data on the device” approach would be conducive to their work, where data spillage and the escalation of “now-confidential” information eliminate BYOD as an option . For instance, a contractor might be working on a project that escalates in terms of importance and confidentiality. This means that contractors have to bring in their personal devices to have everything wiped, instead of simply deleting that unsecured data from the company server.
This approach also makes sense, because the majority of employees only want or need access to one corporate app —email. For others who need access to more, the added controls and restrictions of EMM or MDM makes sense. But for that majority, companies shouldn’t need to impose a second corporate-owned device or restrictions on the employee’s personal device when the solution could be as simple as downloading an app.
Given our approach to mobile security, we can’t ever expect an apples-to-apples comparison with EMM, MDM, etc. But, we think that’s a good thing since we have an approach that doesn’t sound like the rest.
Next year, we hope you stop by our booth, so we can prove that BYOD doesn’t have to be a pain.