I am beginning a new series on BYOD and MDM insights from industry leaders and influencers. My goal is to combine industry details with key takeaways that can be consumed quickly. I have no personal or financial affiliation with any of the parties involved with these interviews.
Going Behind the Scenes with BYOD
On Wednesday January 11th 2012 I got the opportunity to speak with Ojas Rege, Vice President of Products and Marketing for MobileIron. Rege has been with MobileIron since the first line of code was written back in 2008. A very lively discussion, Ojas’s palpable passion for the topic of BYOD past, present, and future coupled with his deep corporate, customer, and industry knowledge clearly demonstrates why MobileIron is an industry leader in the crowded field of Mobile Device Management solutions.
iOS – The Trojan Horse of BYOD
How did we get to where we find ourselves today with BYOD? Rege views the introduction of the iPhone as the start of the BYOD movement in enterprises. “iOS was the catalyst that got devices in to the enterprise”. Once the devices began to arrive, users wanted to leverage them to connect to the corporate network. With Apple’s firm grasp on device development and manufacture, this provided the positive effect of device consistency. This led to what Rege sees as a second driving force of BYOD. Besides providing quasi- standardization, the iOS consistency created a platform where there was, as Ojas stated “less users could do to crash the device; less user created problems.” The last driving force of BYOD Ojas pointed out was that the curated App Store. This greatly reduced the risk for malware while upholding standards and best practices.
Key BYOD/MDM insight – iOS was the epitome of the “easy first child” which made for a smooth introduction of consumer devices in the enterprise.
Savings vs. Support
From a business perspective Rege and MobileIron have seen the economics of hardware procurement as another driving force for BYOD. Businesses see the upfront economic savings of BYOD as a positive aspect. Ojas noted that for many customers it was, initially, an argument of cost benefits weighed against the pain(read cost) of support. MobileIron’s customers have however, in reality, found that helpdesk costs haven’t been an issue. In fact, calls to the enterprise helpdesk have been reduced after the implementation of their MDM solution. Ojas attributes this to pride in ownership – “individuals take the extra minute or two it takes to figure out the problem themselves rather than calling the helpdesk” as they don’t want IT touching their device.
Key BYOD/MDM insight: With MDM, customers see cost savings in hardware and helpdesk.
Droid Does BYOD
“BYOD has brought Android to the enterprise,” noted Rege. Of the 1400+ MobileIron’s customers, 60% of them have included Android in their BYOD planning and implementation. As this percentage increases the corporate device mix is beginning to closely mirror the consumer mix. Unlike iOS, Android has not retained tight controls over device manufacture, OS versioning, and app development. This has led to some unique mobile device management challenges. But as IT departments have matured in their MDM deployments, Ojas says, “they have learned quite a bit from the BYOD experience with iOS.”
Key BYOD/MDM insight: Android’s fractured nature has and will continue to pose challenges to MDM.
Past is Present
BYOD is driving rapid changes in the enterprise. Understanding the little history there is will help IT departments plan and implement MDM successfully. The novelty of BYOD as an enterprise directive has all organizations learning and creating best practices in parallel. We are a little ahead here in the US as compared to Europe. The US is about 6 to 12 month ahead of Europe according to Rege when it comes to MDM deployments. But the industry as a whole is still maturing.
Key BYOD/MDM insight: In BYOD’s short history seek out all the success stories you can.
Next in the series: Continued perspective from MobileIron’s Ojas Rege on enterprise MDM implementation.
MobileIron, founded in 2007, simplifies the chaos of workplace smart devices and mobile apps. These devices and apps are today’s employee business computing solution of choice. More than 1,400 firms use MobileIron’s mobile device management software to reduce cost, risk, and usability challenges that traditional mobile device management strategies fail to address.
Benjamin Robbins is one of the founders of AdminBridge – providing IT Administration from mobile devices. For more information visit http://adminbridge.com