“Managed Diversity” and the Challenge of Supporting Mobility

Information technology advisory firm Gartner challenges IT groups to put priority focus on developing and supporting a mobile device management (MDM) policy. “The era of fully supporting company-owned devices is giving way to an era of managed diversity in which tiered support for employee-owned, consumer-class devices is the norm,” said Terrence Cosgrove, research director at Gartner. “With the unabated growth of consumerization, IT leaders need to implement MDM to manage corporate-and employee-owned devices, and assign responsibilities inside IT departments for the service, application and security of all these devices.”

LANDesk released findings from a survey of 193 IT managers and administrators in medium-to-large size enterprise organizations. They found that the use of personal devices in the workplace are becoming all pervasive.[1] Survey findings include:

  • 44 percent of those surveyed said at least part of their workforce works remotely.
  • 77 percent of those surveyed said end users use their personal mobile devices in the workplace.
  • 54 percent of those surveyed reported that they do not currently have a security strategy for mobile devices in place.
  • 37 percent of those surveyed reported that they deal with more than 10 malware incidents a month.

This changing environment brings inherent risks. InformationWeek Analytics released a security survey from 1,084 respondents.[2] Respondents cited two key fears:
1. Lost or stolen devices could expose sensitive company information, creating a threat beyond the company.
2. Infected personal devices could import a malicious app onto the network, or could expose

In this changing environment where more and more employees are using personal mobile devices to complete work tasks, it is essential that companies maintain and coordinate MDM between security and operations. Gartner talks about strategy that concentrates on “managed diversity” to address the wide range of devices found in the organization.

“Because of the complexity of the mobile device landscape, there must be a person or group responsible for monitoring this landscape and for understanding users’ demands for new types of device and the impact that new platforms have on applications,” said Mr. Cosgrove. “This person or group must work with the security team regularly to address the impact that platform changes and demands for mobile services have on the organization’s security.”

The MDM market is rapidly growing and changing based on company the emerging challenges facing organizations. As more employees use their own devices, companies are saving money. Some of these savings can be applied toward developing and supporting a management and security policy. For help in considering MDM as part of your overall security strategy, please contact our experts at Integracon, call 865-330-2323 or contact us via chat at integracon.com.

[1] Staff writer. “Do mobile devices in the workplace create security problems?” Help Net Security, May 1, 2012 <http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=12903>

[2] Michael Finneran. “BYOD Requires Mobile Device Managment.” InformationWeek, May 7, 2011 <http://www.informationweek.com/news/mobility/business/229402912>