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Posts Tagged ‘mobile device management’

Earlier this week, the market leader in application delivery controllers (ADCs), F5 Networks, added to its security portfolio by announcing its own BYOD solution, known as Mobile Application Manager. Mobile App Manager is designed to remove many of the challenges associated with BYOD by taking the burden off the device and pushing the functions into the network.

The industry is still in the early days of BYOD and many companies have looked to mobile device management (MDM) solutions to help enterprises handle the influx of consumer devices. In my opinion, and I’ve said this for a while, traditional MDM solutions are a great stop gap technology to help deliver BYOD quickly, but these solutions are device-centric and that limits their scalability.

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There’s no hotter IT initiative today than “bring your own device.” A recent survey ZK Research conducted shows that 82% of organizations now  in some way support the use of consumer devices in the workplace. This is a marked difference from just a couple of years ago, when very few organizations supported it. For those companies that do not support it yet, get ready because the heat’s going to come from above your pay grade and it will be your CEO who says “I don’t care what our corporate policy is, make this iPad work.”

This is one of the reasons mobile device management (MDM) has been such a hot market over the past few years. MDM enables the safe on-boarding of devices into the corporate workplace. It ensures that the device adheres to corporate security policies, drops certificates onto the device and configures the device automatically. Generally, a good MDM solution can reduce provisioning time from hours to mere minutes.

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Being in my mid 40s automatically makes me a fan of 80s music. There was a Bonnie Tyler song that had lyrics that went “Where have all the good men gone and where are all the Gods? Where’s the street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds? Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?”

Despite her incredibly bad 80s hair, it was a pretty good song and reminds me a lot of my IT days back in the 90s. We were those white knights on steeds and were viewed as the all-knowing, all-powerful IT group – The Q (Star Trek reference) of our generation. Now, the dirty little IT secret was that we engineered it to be that way. IT procured all the devices, all the applications and controlled the entire end-to-end experience. If a user experienced a problem, IT could ride in on its steed and quickly solve the problem because IT owned the entire lifecycle of the application, so troubleshooting, while difficult, was doable.

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Consumerization and BYOD are all the rage today. It’s tough to discuss anything with an IT leader without this topic rearing its ugly head.

To combat the issues that stem from BYOD, many IT departments have turned to mobile device management or some sort of solution that goes on the end point. While this solves some of the BYOD challenges, it doesn’t solve all of them, nor does it scale easily since it requires touching every device that comes into the company. In my opinion, the most scalable way to address BOYD is through the network, as it sees all and touches all.

This was the basis of Extreme’s “Intelligent Mobile Edge” launch, which includes wired switches, wireless infrastructure and identity management software – all core components of supporting BYOD. Extreme’s solution is designed to help companies with the challenges of allowing workers to bring their own devices into the work place.

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