Where the device hits the network – a mobile device management update

Enterprises have become much more mobile over the past decade. In fact, mobility has fast become a major priority, both in terms of customer and stakeholder engagement and also worker mobility.

According to a report by the Radicati Group, global revenues for the enterprise mobility management (EMM) market will total over $ 1.8bn by year-end 2017. This figure will grow to over $ 3.3bn by year-end 2021. This represents an average annual growth rate of 18% in the next four years.

The EMEA market for EMM software will grow from $ 565.8m in 2017 to $ 839.9m in 2021 at a CAGR of 8.2% according to analyst firm IDC (Enterprise mobility management software forecast, 2017–2021).

On the bring your own device (BYOD) front, Forrester Research reports that 70% of information workers use a smartphone at least weekly at work, with 49% choosing the device themselves as opposed to following a company-approved list or using a company-issued phone (Best practices for securing and empowering a mobile workforce).

To stay on top of your mobile strategy, organisations should be aware of a number of trends.

One of the most impactful trends in enterprise mobility management is the concept of device trust, which means providing a certificate of trust for the devices used, says Mike Paiko, director of enterprise mobility at Okta.

When a cloud app, such as Box or Google Suite, contains highly sensitive information, IT leaders need to ensure the device used to access that app is managed and meets the company’s security standards. These devices may include desktops, laptops, or mobile phones.  

Mobility management tool

Users have the opportunity to enrol their device into their mobility management tool, and once the device becomes “trusted”, the user will have access to the application. “This is a great security process to ensure users only use managed devices to access sensitive corporate apps,” he says.

Trust also plays a part in BYOD. The workforce is increasingly being their own devices, more so among third party contractors or other temporary workers. 

“Workers would probably prefer not to carry two phones; however, they still do because they are reluctant to have their employer access personal info,” says Mark Lorion, president and general manager at Apperian. Mobile device management (MDM) suppliers are responding to this with reversed enrolment flows, where a user can download the initial mobile portal without enrolling their device for control by their employer. “However, if the user wants access to corporate data, they will need to enrol their device in management,” he says.

Mobiles on the edge

One trend which is already showing signs of exerting real influence when it comes to mobile device management is edge computing, according to Neil Bramley, B2B client solutions business unit director of Northern Europe at Toshiba. This is especially so as mobiles generate evermore data.

“In an increasingly mobile professional landscape, the ability to process data at the edge of the network and close to its originating source is invaluable. By minimising the strain on cloud storage services, organisations can ensure faster operations through reduced latency, only sending the most relevant data to the cloud,” he says.

By spreading the load in this way, bottlenecks are greatly reduced, if not eliminated, while at the same time businesses can benefit from the additional advantages of improving their quality of service and reducing costs, adds Bramley.

The rise of IoT

One of the most important, yet least talked-about developments, in MDM is what is meant when talking about “devices”.

The rise of connected devices and the internet of things (IoT) might not, at first, seem relevant to IT managers for whom MDM means struggling to bring Shadow IT into the corporate fold. But connected devices present greater risks to organisations, not least because they are generally so poorly-secured, as seen with the Mirai attacks from last year onwards, says James Plouffe, lead solutions architect, at MobileIron.

“The challenge for MDM/EMM providers is twofold: first, to educate users about the risks of unsecured connected devices; and second, to integrate these devices into their existing MDM platforms and tools, so that IT managers have complete visibility of every machine that’s connecting to their corporate network,” he says

This is echoed by Suneil Sastri, director of product marketing at Soti. He says the reason device management has taken such a sharp evolution is that it is no longer just about obtaining information from a mobile device.

“Everything that can be connected will be connected. That’s the somewhat dog-eared maxim for the future of tech,” he says. “Currently, around 23 billion ‘things’ are currently connected to the world’s various communication networks and more are joining at breakneck speed. Mobile device management has advanced to encompass this innovation and companies must take advantage of this.”

Sastri says IoT brings new business challenges around scale, interoperability, security and the management of devices and endpoints.

“The adoption of IoT is set to continue, especially with industrial IoT devices. Businesses need to ensure they have a solid central platform to ensure they don’t become lost in a web of connected devices,” he says.

MDM and GDPR

In the near future, privacy and sensitivity around personal data and personally identifiable information (PII) will only continue to increase, as new regulations, such as GDPR, are passed and as consumers and the general public become more aware of how vulnerable their information is.

Lorian says an example of this would be the fallout from the September 2017 Equifax breach. “Organisations will need to take measures to only control what needs to be managed – just corporate data and just corporate assets. Typically, this will be achieved with approaches that do not require enrolling in device management, especially for personally owned devices.”

Organisations may also need to deploy tools that assist with data protection but also minimise data transferred to and held on the device. There will be a greater emphasis on mandating MDM to remove corporate data on a device if it is lost or stolen as well as using encryption to protect confidential data.

Rich Campagna, CEO at cloud and mobile security company Bitglass, says the mobile security space is ripe for innovation and we’ll likely see tools evolve to meet the needs and changes in IT. “One example is the ability to selectively wipe corporate information from a BYOD. From an employee privacy perspective, this means their phone is never at risk of having personal data removed without consent.”

Adapting to new trends

The latest trends in MDM are going to have an impact on enterprises and having a coherent security strategy is the single most important factor, says Plouffe. But, he adds, this is missing in so many user organisations.

“An effective security policy starts with organisations classifying their assets, identifying the risks to those assets, and defining their risk tolerance,” he says. “This will allow them to determine what risks they need to mitigate and which they may choose to accept. For example, part of this exercise may include detailing which devices are corporately owned and loaned to employees and what level of access each employee in the organisation is afforded.”

Paiko says there needs to be a balance between security and experience because if a user encounters too much friction accessing their apps, they’ll go around the security control, and ultimately will not realise the productivity benefits. He points to a recent Google report that highlights that 90% of smartphone users have used their phone to make progress toward a long-term goal or a multi-step process while “out and about”.

“Each of these ‘micro-moments’ lasts an average of 70 seconds, and these micro-moments are repeated dozens and dozens of times per day,” he says. “Without a great user experience, these highly productive micro-moments would not be possible.”

Broadening the scope of MDM

Today an employee can buy a smartphone, enrol it in MDM management, and be up and running with email and their corporate apps within 10 to 15 minutes – yet, they cannot get the same experience with a laptop, says Paiko. He adds that in the next 12-18 months, with Apple and Microsoft enhancing the MDM support in Mac OS X and Windows 10 respectively, more organisations will turn to MDM to manage third-party workers, such as contractors and business partners, and employee PCs.

“That said, with the current desktop OS MDM limitations and the existing need for group policies, it may take longer than 18 to 24 months for MDM to successfully manage the bulk of traditional PCs,” he says.

It is also important to note the consumerisation of IT is now driving what devices are being used in the enterprise. Perhaps the best way to keep ahead of the trends in MDM in the enterprise is to keep an eye one what consumers are buying today; they may well be bringing it into the enterprise tomorrow.

Tech

IDG Contributor Network: When the Big One hits Seattle, will cloud providers stay on?

The San Andreas Fault gets all the attention, media coverage and movies, but it’s not the fault line the tech sector needs to worry about. A much bigger problem lies to the north, and some of the most important tech firms are directly in its crosshairs.

The Cascadia subduction zone runs north-south from Canada to northern California and sits roughly 80 miles offshore. That’s the good news, since it’s 80 miles out to sea, as opposed to the San Andreas and Hayward faults, which run right through the Silicon Valley and East Bay, respectively.

The bad news is it is capable of a much more severe quake. The Cascadia fault is believed to be capable of a 9.4 magnitude quake. Residents of the Pacific Northwest got quite a fright last year when The New Yorker published an article called “The Really Big One,” which detailed the potential of a 9.4 magnitude earthquake hitting the area. The article outlined projections for 13,000 immediate deaths, one million left homeless, and the whole region left without power and water for months.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: When the Big One hits Seattle, will cloud providers stay on?

The San Andreas Fault gets all the attention, media coverage and movies, but it’s not the fault line the tech sector needs to worry about. A much bigger problem lies to the north, and some of the most important tech firms are directly in its crosshairs.

The Cascadia subduction zone runs north-south from Canada to northern California and sits roughly 80 miles offshore. That’s the good news, since it’s 80 miles out to sea, as opposed to the San Andreas and Hayward faults, which run right through the Silicon Valley and East Bay, respectively.

The bad news is it is capable of a much more severe quake. The Cascadia fault is believed to be capable of a 9.4 magnitude quake. Residents of the Pacific Northwest got quite a fright last year when The New Yorker published an article called “The Really Big One,” which detailed the potential of a 9.4 magnitude earthquake hitting the area. The article outlined projections for 13,000 immediate deaths, one million left homeless, and the whole region left without power and water for months.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: When the Big One hits Seattle, will cloud providers stay on?

The San Andreas Fault gets all the attention, media coverage and movies, but it’s not the fault line the tech sector needs to worry about. A much bigger problem lies to the north, and some of the most important tech firms are directly in its crosshairs.

The Cascadia subduction zone runs north-south from Canada to northern California and sits roughly 80 miles offshore. That’s the good news, since it’s 80 miles out to sea, as opposed to the San Andreas and Hayward faults, which run right through the Silicon Valley and East Bay, respectively.

The bad news is it is capable of a much more severe quake. The Cascadia fault is believed to be capable of a 9.4 magnitude quake. Residents of the Pacific Northwest got quite a fright last year when The New Yorker published an article called “The Really Big One,” which detailed the potential of a 9.4 magnitude earthquake hitting the area. The article outlined projections for 13,000 immediate deaths, one million left homeless, and the whole region left without power and water for months.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

Okta hits $1.2B valuation after new funding

As businesses are increasing turning to the cloud for enterprise-level software and services, login management startup Okta announced today it has raised a fresh $ 75 million in funding.

Okta helps companies manage the various logins, passwords, and access to a plethora of cloud-based services they may have need of on a consistent basis. Employees enter login info to various services via Okta the first time, then refer back to Okta rather than logging in directly. (So for example, Okta could manage your login info for your company email account, task management service Asana, and the company brand’s Twitter account.) The idea is to get a better sense of who has access to what services, while eliminating possible phishing attacks or other malicious ways a hacker might gain access to a company’s various assets.

“We’re at an important inflection point where IT leaders, product developers, industry analysts and the biggest technology companies in the world are acknowledging the critical role identity plays in connecting people, apps, devices and organizations,” said Okta CEO Todd McKinnon in a statement.

The funding round itself was led by Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, and Sequoia Capital, with participation from additional existing investors. It also brings the total raised by the company to $ 230 million, and boosts its valuation to $ 1.2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Yes, for those keeping track, Okta is now the latest member of the Unicorn club — aka startups with a valuation that exceeds $ 1 billion.)

Okta hits $ 1.2B valuation after new funding originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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Cloud

ComputeNext Hits Home Run With Win at 3rd Annual Cloud World Series Awards

ComputeNext, a cloud brokerage platform and marketplace software provider, today announced it was selected as the winner in the “Best SME Project by a Vendor” category in the 3rd Annual Cloud World Series Awards. The Awards celebrate the drive, innovation and hard work in the global cloud computing industry, bringing together the industry leaders and experts that have driven developments in the cloud over the past year.

ComputeNext was selected for its work with application intelligence company AppDynamics, which utilized ComputeNext’s Global Cloud Marketplace (GCM) to easily and cost-effectively scale their cloud infrastructure worldwide.

The judging panel for the “Best SME Project by a Vendor” looked for the most successful SME project that demonstrated how the cloud migration process was simplified, how mobility and convenience of IT access was facilitated and how overall IT costs were minimized.

ComputeNext’s Global Cloud Marketplace is a platform which enables cloud service commerce, provisioning, and management from providers in over 60 locations worldwide, from a single user account or API. This platform is also available as a white-label solution which can be offered as a Marketplace-as-a-Service or a custom deployment for telcos, data centers, service providers, and large IT resellers/distributors. The platform can be rapidly deployed and customized for partners based on the cloud platforms, products, and services they wish to offer.

“ComputeNext’s mission is to make it easier for organizations of all sizes to select, purchase and configure cloud services directly from our marketplace, and this award is a testament to the hard work of our entire team,” said Sundar Kannan, founder and CEO of ComputeNext. “It is always rewarding to be acknowledged for our solutions that help our customers to buy cloud services and infrastructure in a simplified and streamlined way, and we thank the Cloud World Series Awards for this honor.”

The awards were announced on June 24 at the Cloud World Forum in London.

About ComputeNext

ComputeNext is a Bellevue, WA-based cloud brokerage company pioneering how organizations search, discover, procure, and provision cloud infrastructure with its Cloud Marketplace Platform. As a leader in cloud service brokerage, ComputeNext enables end-to-end transactions across platform-agnostic infrastructure. Holding the belief that a few cloud providers cannot satisfy the world’s computing demands, our mission is to promote choice and efficient computing through federation. This new ecosystem shares and optimizes cloud infrastructure and services to bring unprecedented business development opportunities and cost savings for both data centers and IT organizations. Learn more at http://www.computenext.com

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