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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Fine Tuning Enterprise Mobility Management with Jonathan Dale, Fiberlink

August 8, 2013 No Comments

In the interview below, Jonathan Dale from Fiberlink accentuates the importance of taking a flexible approach to Mobile Device Management, and offers expert advice for organizations looking to safely and securely manage company data stored on mobile devices.

  • Q. How you feel “bring your own device” (BYOD) is affecting IT Security and Mobility within the Enterprise today?

a. At the macro level, very few companies in the world could have pictured the changes that would take place in device mobility and security between 2007 and 2013. We can now reflect a bit. For example, we have already stopped using the term “Consumerization of IT,” which was all the rage for a while. Rarely does anyone ever ask if a device is “enterprise ready.” I predict that we will stop using the term BYOD within the next 24 months. These mobile trends are much larger than a single buzzword. Companies are finding innovative ways to use smartphones and tablets to interface with customers, improve customer service, and increase their competitive advantage. Even building applications has taken on a new look and feel, making them simpler and easier to use. These devices no longer need user training. If you need directions, your device and apps are too complicated. I also think BYOD is responsible for pushing the envelope on the phrase “good enough security”.

  • Q. What are the main IT challenges that you see arising due to the increased abundance of mobile applications in the workplace?

a. Meeting compliance regulations. Many customers are looking for technology to ensure they are meeting their strict compliance regulations. This drives a lot of the requirements and enhances the need for management tools. It keeps IT staff up at night.

b. Data and app security. As companies find use cases for custom applications, they are building them. Because of this, ensuring security of the app and the data that is being accessed is a challenge. Even if companies are not building their own apps, they are looking to leverage third party applications and finding ways to allow access to legacy web applications.  We help companies balance this access while providing secure ways to do it.

c. Effective management. Companies need to understand how to deploy apps to mobile devices, how to update them, and how to do it in a way that scales. Usually, companies will deploy a corporate app catalogue to deal with this. Think of this as a one stop shop for all apps, both public and private. Takes the guess work out of it for both IT and the user.

  • Q. Do you see a data management trend emerging that involves moving away from “managing mobile devices” and moving towards properly “managing the data” that is stored on those devices?

a. Absolutely. The conversations I’m part of are now mainly about corporate data. Who is accessing data, how are they accessing data, what are they doing with it, where is the data going. More importantly, how can we stop it from going to all the places we don’t want it to. In a nutshell, the results of BYOD have been very disruptive to the enterprise security model. It’s turned it on its head and in my opinion, it has been great. It shows that IT staff get what’s important in the end and are being flexible. They have released their grip and are adopting the new role they play which is the business enabler. Not the grim reaper of what you cannot do.

  • Q. How highly does Fiberlink prioritize flexibility within their MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions? In other words, can organizations of all levels of Mobile capability utilize these products?

a. We take flexibility to the extreme. We even have a tagline that helps explain it. Our MaaS360 platform is the fastest to try, easiest to buy, with the best customer service, and also the most secure. We really understand our customers’ requirements. Each customer has a different approach toward their challenges and opportunities. Regardless of how exciting it is to talk about BYOD, not every company is allowing it right now although it is always part of the conversation. The ones who do, don’t always fit neatly into a circle for their requirements. Some want to simply manage the device, others are pushing apps, others are well beyond device management and are looking to only secure data. Some companies have outlined their specific use cases and need support for tablets in classrooms, tablets in hotels, etc. Why should companies have to purchase technology they are not ready for? Our customers take what they need now, and can always add when they are ready.

  • Q. How is Fiberlink currently working to provide different levels of “containerization” for organizations looking fine tune to their Enterprise Mobility Management today?

a. If someone is looking to isolate corporate data from users’ personal data, a container is one of the strongest approaches to adopt.  This allows IT to really only care about corporate data and ignore everything else about the device or user. Users like it because it provides greater personal privacy. Companies are coming up with a bunch of different use cases of how they can put containers to use, especially with email and apps. This helps prevent corporate email attachments from finding their way into other third party apps or cloud-based file storage solutions. Customers who are building their own apps or leveraging third party publicly available apps are implementing app containers and technology called app wrapping. Even further, companies who distribute documents directly to users’ devices are putting those documents in secure document containers. In all of these use cases, the corporate data is always separate and protected. Containers are not for every company or every user. We provide the ability to have a containment strategy where it’s required. Where it’s not, that is where the traditional MDM, MAM, and MCM fit in. You can have the best of both worlds by mixing the technologies. Match the right technology to the use case and IT will always look good! Users will be happy.

  • Q. How do you see mobile and cloud computing changing and evolving together over the next ten years?

a. Ten years? My crystal ball does not show me that far ahead. Sure wish it did sometimes. The two technologies are a real nice marriage. Cloud computing allows us to maximize the benefits of being mobile. That’s not saying that cloud computing solves all of IT’s challenges however, mobile and cloud go hand in hand. We all know what happens when we don’t have an internet connection. I think we would feel the same way without cloud computing. As a side note, I can’t remember the last IT person I spoke with that said they were still in the business of buying more hardware and building out their data centers. I think cloud is a good bet for the foreseeable future in relation to all things mobile.

Jonathan Dale has served Fiberlink in a variety of capacities during his tenure in the mobility industry, making him one of the premier resources for discussing the intricacies of cloud-based mobile device management. Starting as a the head of customer and technical support, Jonathan quickly parlayed the lessons he learned on the front lines into developing robust solutions for clients including both Intelligent Data Encryption and Full Disk Encryption solutions. Currently Jonathan is responsible for being the face of Fiberlink at tradeshows and spreading the word of customer successes with MaaS360.


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