October 14, 2014 Leave a comment
Managing the transition from blackberry to a multi-platform environment without losing the ability to secure devices.
The organisation, a supermarket chain had recently allowed employees to use their own mobile devices to access the corporate network. In the past, the organisation had issued company owned Blackberry devices to employees, however, during an employee survey it was found that a significant proportion of the employees would prefer using their own devices.
Many of those employees already owned smartphones and some of their reasons for the preference are (not in any particular order):
- They only want to carry one device.
- They find it cumbersome having 2 chargers.
- They find their personal mobile devices more user friendly
The BYOD bandwagon (well, we do not see anything wrong in jumping on a bandwagon; mimetic isomorphism can lead to organisational change) was also a key driver.
The Programme Manager (Executive Projects) said this:
“If our employees are happier using their own mobile devices, why should we stop them. It makes no sense putting the shackles on them. They are more likely to maintain and take care of their own devices than devices that are imposed on them. Our job is to ensure those devices are secure. The prism through which we view our responsibilities has to change.“
Our service was engaged to advise on how those mobile devices could be secured and also to conduct a proof of technology / concept. We had an enterprise mobility management project on our hands and we had to deliver. Our plan was:
- Understand the mobile device mix in the organisation.
- Understand if employees had plans to change their mobile devices in the next 24 months.
- Understand the mobile device management / mobile application management solutions currently in existence.
- Engage with the business technology teams in order to understand any knowledge they have in house on MDM / MAM solutions or if the team had been involved in any solution trials.
- Engage with the business technology teams in order to understand how non-mobile devices are currently managed.
- Present our findings and review solutions that will fit into the organisation’s technology solution.
- Conduct a proof of technology.
We looked at various solutions guided by: experience, Gartner’s publication (Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management), training requirements, resource availability in the marketplace etcetera. We also found very useful information in the Smackdown series from PQR.
Microsoft Intune was selected as the solution of choice (although, the other major solutions from AirWatch and MobileIron do have more functionalities and capabilities) for the following reason:
“Due to the organisation’s people capability in Microsoft technologies (the organisation is a Microsoft shop; it is exploring the use of Azure and Office 365, and has also recently implemented Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager 2012 R2), coupled with the ability to enrol Windows 8 /8.1 devices as mobile devices (the organisation will issue only Surface Pro 3 devices to executives who want a company tablet), Microsoft Intune was chosen. Microsoft Intune also supports Android and iOS devices.”
Our other recommendations include:
- Create an iOS version of the expenses application and make it available for distribution through Intune.
- Employees fear of being monitored if they enrol their devices (one of the discoveries we made in our survey) need to be allayed.
- The organisation has to explore ways to be responsible for the mobile data bill ‘without falling foul of the taxman.’ Some employees do not have an ‘all you can eat’ data subscription.
- There should be an incentive for employees to enrol their devices.