The Holy Grail – BYOD, COPE or CYOD

Choosing the right enterprise mobility strategy for your business

By Alessandro Porro, VP of international sales, Ipswitch

Finding the ideal alignment and balance between hardware, software and employee preference has become the holy-grail for those tasked with defining enterprise mobility strategy. BYOD delivered many great things, such as higher employee productivity and satisfaction. It also made IT managers rethink their strategies to make technology work for their organisation in terms of mobility, security and management. Then COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) came along, which promised to solve some of the problems that BYOD didn’t, such as security. However, COPE also posed challenges and is being followed now by CYOD (Choose Your Own Device).

With so many acronyms flying about it might appear hard to know where to start identifying the best solution. However it would seem 2014 has heralded the end for BYOD with a recent report by analyst firm Gartner declaring its demise, stating: “There is no way for IT to assume full responsibility of securing and managing devices without ownership”.  Indeed, the acronym is now being translated by some as “Bring Your Own Disaster” suggesting it would perhaps be wise to learn from others mistakes.

The COPE model allows employees the choice of a selection of ‘company approved’ devices instead of using their personally owned device for work. This idea might sound like the days of the corporate Blackberry chosen by the IT department, but the ‘Personally Enabled’ part is where the IT department has released some control.

The COPE model solves some of the security concerns that BYOD generated, making it easier for IT managers to monitor and protect the devices, whilst still embracing the Consumerisation of IT by enabling users an element of choice. However, COPE is not without challenges which is where CYOD has emerged, offering an apparent ‘happy medium’.

A variation on COPE, CYOD lets employees choose from a limited selection of approved, corporate-liable device models with the levels of security and control that IT needs. The slight difference is that the employee pays for the upfront cost of the hardware while the business owns the SIM and contract for greater visibility, control and potentially lower costs.

Protecting your company’s data

When a company adopts a COPE strategy, supplying employees with ‘company approved’ devices, it is easier for the IT manager to ensure the protection of corporate data. As the company owns the devices, the IT manager can easily decide which data employees can and cannot access, make regular backups, and remotely wipe devices in case they get stolen or lost. Also, when employees have technical problems, those problems can be solved in-company, instead of at an external – and possibly dodgy – IT repair shop. All these measures reduce the risk of data falling into the wrong hands.

Privacy issues

The principal challenge though with COPE is privacy. IT managers must think critically about the consequences of their data protection policies. As the boundaries between work and private life fade, it will be hard to force employees to use their mobile device for business purposes only. But when employees use their devices privately as well, how far can the IT department go controlling those devices without undermining the privacy of employees? For example, is it still acceptable to wipe devices remotely if they contain private data, such as family photos?

Monitoring network traffic

Moreover, with COPE and with BYOD, IT managers are challenged by the introduction of multiple devices onto their wireless networks. As wireless becomes the primary user network, it needs to deliver the availability and performance that employees expected from the wired network. BYOD increased network density, bandwidth consumption and security risks. These issues will be reduced when IT managers decide to go for a COPE strategy, because the IT manager will recognise most of the devices on the network. He or she will be able to track users, their devices and usage habits in order to resolve any issues that could impact wireless availability and performance. 

Another major plus point of CYOD is that IT can focus on supporting a limited number of platforms and devices, rather than trying to support as many as possible.

Application control

But when implementing a CYOD scheme, organisations need to look at application control and whether CYOD should permit employees to run non-business-related applications. This is a discussion in itself when you start to look into controlling employees’ personal social media apps on corporate-owned devices. Certainly, many would argue that there needs to be a shift in focus away from standard MDM solutions and towards managing data and security at the app level.

A growing number of companies are opting for MAM (mobile application management) instead of MDM (mobile device management), since it enables IT to protect enterprise apps and corporate data throughout the mobile application lifecycle, from deployment to app signing to inspection for security flaws and malware.

Analyst firm Yankee Group predicts that the enterprise mobility market will consolidate, as organisations broaden their requirement for enterprise app development, on-premise and cloud-based deployment, app and device management, and security – all delivered by a single platform vendor. This would help organisations to achieve a holistic view of their enterprise thus enabling the management of devices, users, data and applications as well as delivery of cloud and on-premise deployments. In this vision the device an employee chooses to use becomes less critical as the focus shifts from the device to the app.

Making the call

What the evolution of BYOD to COPE to CYOD does best, for those struggling to decide which strategy makes most sense for their enterprise, is illustrate how fast things change. In turn that signposts a requirement to really look ahead and consider future needs and demands so that whatever strategy is deployed can be advanced and built upon with ease. This would involve consideration, at the outset, of solutions that can enable secure mobility, device choice, data consistency and agile management – that is where you should start… good luck!

Mobility Apps: What’s Next?

Ramesh Loganathan, VP Products at Progress

If Andy Warhol’s famous remarks about everyone having their ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ are to be believed, then how are we to view some of the more recent trends in mobile technology? The time spent in the spotlight by once-innovative concepts such as BYOD, remote working and citizen developers is beginning to ebb away as the hype is replaced by newer, more pragmatic and meaningful technologies. Today all these ideas that, although considered new and exciting at the time, are now fully entrenched in the workplace, and considered part and practice of every day working life.

What’s is clear is that the adoption of mobility in enterprise applications is gradually becoming part of the mainstream. One of the main reasons for this is the simplified access to enterprise business services and data through the cloud, which, in turn, is resulting in some innovative new application models. It’s a trend that is starting to emerge and will gain full steam later this year and the following five themes hint towards what we can expect to see.

1.     Increased ‘on the go’ productivity with larger data sets

Although the ability to be productive and work ‘on the go’ is hardly new, it’s worth bearing in mind that, to date, this has only seen widespread adoption using relatively small data sets. Now, Increasingly, we’ll see more widespread adoption of applications that rely on larger, more complex data sets, giving users the opportunity to work with relavant business solutions without any constraints on functionality or data accessible from mobiles..

2.     Mobile apps serving a user’s purpose, accessing multiple back-end solutions

It’s easy to think of data as a single entity, stored in one single location, which can be easily accessed. The truth, however, is very different, and quite often, employees find themselves having to switch between multiple data sets, stored in a variety of locations, and accessed via a diverse range of applications. If mobile productivity is to become truly effective for those that are reliant on these divergent data streams, it must surely become necessary to access many of these sources when building a mobile application. IN enterprise solutions use cases, the access maybe a bit involved needing the mobile apps having its own backend that mediates and aggregates access to these multiple enterprise backed solutions. By integrating multiple back-ends, and providing the ability to use them all through one single point of entry on a mobile device, businesses will be able to provide mobile productivity at a level never previously allowed.

3.     Mobile first user-centric applications

With most enterprise business processing and departmental IT solutions in place in all enterprises, the next set of solutions being considered by enterprises are primarily around user productivity. Around user centered applications that enable user’s processing. Which often needs access to multiple enterprise solutions. What’s new though is that now a new class of solutions are coming up leveraging all aspects mobile.

In days gone by, mobile-specific applications were developed almost as an afterthought. Typically, they were either created from a quick port of an existing desktop or web-based application, or developed afterwards with long, resource-intensive lead times. Today’s developers can no longer afford to think in this way. Now much emphasis is being placed on achieving the holy grail of productivity, that developers will increasingly develop for mobile platforms first before web and other platforms. Leverage the continuous access to these apps that users will have. Leverage access to location and other user’s context in enabling a better experience and utility for the users. Connect the user to any and all needed back end services and data to enable some processing that users want to achieve. Anywhere. Any time. From their mobile.

4.     More focus on the business than the consumer

One of the main causes of the BYOD revolution was that it allowed everyday people to access information they needed to access in their place of work in ways they would ordinarily access information in their private lives. The consumerisation of IT trend was based almost entirely on the idea of user experience, and there was little doubt that consumers were king in this scenario. Moving forward, we’ll see a reversal of this, with more and more organisations realising that it’s possible to target the deep pockets of businesses with the sort of user experience once typically associated with consumers. What’s clear is that as developers increasingly place business expectation over and above individual user preferences, this increasing consumerisation of applications will come hand-in-hand with a business end-user focus.

5.     Modifying applications ‘on the go’

Perhaps the biggest upshot of these new mobility trends is that we’ll see the act of developing applications moving away from being the sole preserve of dedicated coding experts. The users that access applications will themselves gain the ability to modify them. This will enable a class of solutions that will allow each end-user to easily put together an app that automates some business processing of their own, all accessed from their mobile. This will allow access to any backend business function or data that the user needs to perform operations. The resulting ability to use mobile devices as an application development tool, and not just as means to an end for an end-user could radically alter the way we think of mobile devices. There’s no doubt that this will give way to a new breed of ‘on the go citizen developer’ as non-tech end-users will build and modify their own apps.

These five suggestions may not be the be-all and end-all of developments in mobile over the coming months and years. However, as more and more businesses adopt mobile first strategies and move mobile applications further away from the domain of the consumer and more into the realm of businesses, there seems little doubt that we’ll see a fundamental shift in the way mobility is perceived and used. Will it be enough for these trends to have their own ‘fifteen minutes of fame’? Only time will tell!

Mobility: Powered by PaaS

By Karen Tegan Padir, CTO Progress

Mobility is amazing. Consider that it was not that long ago when mobility meant simply the ability to make or receive a telephone call or text. Maybe if you were lucky, you also got email or some pale version of a desktop app on your “device” so you could read documents on the go.

Now, mobile is one of the biggest of big businesses and, for developers, it’s a mixed blessing. Systems are being built or rebuilt to support mobility – and then there are all those apps yet to be written (or needing constant updating). That’s not a trivial challenge since there are multiple operating systems and innumerable individual device variations that have to be considered.

Add to those basics the challenges of delivering new kinds of functionality such as context awareness. This, at a minimum, means writing an app that “understands” its physical location at a given moment. But it can also include preference, in the form of recent decisions made by the user or consumer that can be discerned from the device or from information available on social networks; situation – meaning not just map coordinate location but altitude, environmental conditions, velocity, etc.; and evenattitude – the state of mind of the user or customer.

It is unlikely that any given app dev project will involve more than a fraction of these potential new requirements, however the point is that it’s a brave new world for developers: more complex and faster paced than ever before.

One of the best means for coping with this onslaught of challenges is simply adopting a new platform approach to development and deployment – platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

The PaaS Advantage

Why PaaS? PaaS is moving toward an increasingly central position in IT – whether on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid situation. When developers turn to PaaS they do so because they believe they can save time and increase productivity. Given its inherent advantages, PaaS is the way that more and more people will choose to develop applications. Indeed, this approach is rapidly moving to the mainstream.

To date, developers have generally had to pick separate tool sets, depending upon their target deployment platform – one choice for fat clients and something totally different for web apps, mobile, and tablet. Developers had to learn to use different tools for each platform. If you decided your “fat” app needed to work for a mobile device, you may have had to put up with delivering a problematic user experience based on that tooling. If something was optimised for the web or a fat client, it might work for mobile but it wouldn’t work very well. The alternative was more or less starting over from scratch.

Developers will look to PaaS vendors to provide unified delivery of tools. When people choose to create an app they will increasingly look for a development environment that will have all of the required tools needed to easily create a mobile app, a web app, or a fat client, from one tool set. That is why developers will choose a PaaS that provides wide tooling breadth and strong integration. It’s common sense.

Similarly, even within the specific requirements of mobile development, there can be daunting complexities. If you choose to write a native app your testing complexity goes up considerably because you have different operating systems and different handsets. With hybrid approaches you can write the UI code once and deploy to multiple devices because you can have a container that runs on top of all operating systems – so you don’t need to learn device-specific environments for development.

By 2015 the choice to write a native app or a hybrid app will be increasingly dictated by tooling available through a PaaS, not just for deployment and runtime but also as the app dev tooling for creating the mobile front end.

Tooling will continue to improve, too, with developers turning to an integrated, “everything-in-the-box” mobile UI development platform so they can quickly and easily extend existing applications to support mobile users – or create new ones. In combination with a visual designer, support for the creation of feature-rich mobile apps than can run on both iOS and Android platforms is important as well. With hundreds of different handsets within each of those domains, each requiring a degree of application customization, this approach bridging capability represents a huge productivity boost.

Similarly, when developers look to create apps for the Internet of Things (IoT) and the next generation of mobility – wearable devices like Google Glass – they will want similar support. So application developers will have to think about picking tool sets not only to deliver for their already complex spectrum of choices but also for Glass – or a smart sensor, perhaps even a refrigerator.

Moving forward, application developers need to look at mobile development challenges in a broad context that includes traditional platforms as well as mobile and emerging IoT. It’s an overwhelming challenge, but increasingly capable PaaS providers will make it possible – and successful.

Indeed, the stampede of new vendors into the space, including IBM with its $1 billion commitment to BlueMix, is an indication that the whole industry “gets” PaaS. Gartner recently published their first Gartner Magic Quadrant for aPaaS, in which a handful of leading PaaS players are categorized as either challengers, leaders, niche players, or visionaries. Fundamentally, developers, and IT departments in general are dealing with stiffer competition and limited resources. PaaS helps them address those challenges. In fact, a PaaS has solid advantages in terms of supporting better and faster development, agility, analytics, and scalability, while offering more favorable cost structures.

This year we’ll see PaaS begin to drive a wave of change, within IT and across organisations. It’s also a perfect fit with the do-business-anywhere–and-any-time trend. Here again, consumers have shown the way, with smaller, more focused and easy to deploy apps that are better tailored to the needs of roles and individuals than the giant, “monolithic” applications that have long dominated corporate life.

In addition to the groundswell of vendor interest, many more end-user organisations are adopting PaaS. In short, I definitely see 2014 as the “Year of PaaS.” If you haven’t yet done so, take some time to learn about PaaS and think about building it in to your plans sooner rather than later. It’s the competitive edge you will need!

Beach to Breach – Reducing BYOD Security Risks During the Summer Holidays

By Sean Newman, Field Product Manager at Cisco

It’s the time of year when people start booking their summer holidays, and for employers it is vital that they ensure their BYOD policies are rigorous enough to protect their business against any potential data breach while their staff are away enjoying a fortnight in the sun.

The balance between work and social life has become more blurred with employees able to access websites, social media and emails from their smartphones or tablets in or out of the office anytime and anywhere in the world. As a result, concerns around BYOD have increased. While companies recognise the benefits of mobile technology in terms of productivity and competitiveness, they are not always focused on the risk this poses in terms of potential cyber-attack.

There is no doubt that adoption of mobile devices in the workplace presents a challenge that is as much a question of policy and control as it is about the technology itself. According to analyst firm TechMarketView, over 10 million UK employees are predicted to be using personal devices in the workplace by 2016.

Manufacturers are pushing tablets as the must-have device for everyone in the family, whether it’s a high-end iPad from Apple or the new cost-effective Hudl from Tesco. What does that mean for the enterprise? It means an influx of new devices coming onto the network because, you can bet your life they won’t be staying just for the home.

For the IT security team this has the potential to be a real headache as they count the ways in which the BYOD trend complicates their work lives. And, as the transition from desk-bound computers to laptops, tablets and smartphones continues gathering pace, it’s no surprise that hackers are choosing mobile devices as their next target. It makes economic sense and they are simply ‘following the mobile money’.

The issue with employee-owned mobile devices is that they can access corporate resources outside of the control of the corporate IT function. This means it can be difficult to identify even basic environmental data for these devices, such as the number and type of devices being used, and the operating systems and applications they are running.

The proliferation of mobile devices and their growing use in the workplace has fuelled a rapid growth in mobile malware, significantly increasing the risk to individuals and their employers. Research indicates that 79% of malicious attacks on mobiles in 2012 occurred on devices running Google’s Android operating system, according to US authorities. Given the lack of even basic visibility, many IT security teams certainly don’t have the capability to identify potential threats from these devices.

However, despite the pitfalls, the benefits of BYOD are often too strong to ignore.  So, in order to regain control in this mobile world, IT security professionals must be able to see everything in their environment, so they can establish risk level and then secure it appropriately. For most enterprises, the right solution is to implement BYOD policies that clearly define the proper use of employee-owned devices in the enterprise and then have enough checks and controls in place to enforce those policies.

At the end of the day, security of mobile devices is ultimately a question of three phases:

  • Before – establishing control over how mobile devices are used and what data they can access and store.
  • During – Visibility and intelligence is vital if security professionals can hope to identify the threats and risky devices and monitor their activities on the corporate network
  • After – when the inevitable happens and the network is compromised by a threat, be able to retrospectively review how that threat entered the network; which systems it interacted with and what files and applications were run to ensure it can be cleaned up as quickly as possible.

Whilst employees need to remember the risks of spending too long exposed to the sun, when they are on holiday, organisations need to ensure the risks posed by their mobile devices don’t expose corporate assets to misuse or theft, otherwise they won’t be the only ones getting burned.

Do you know what you’re working with?

By Steve Denner, co-founder and director Adestra

Technology is well and truly in the hands of the masses – almost 80% of UK consumers own a smartphone. I recently read that in 1991 the cost of buying all the iPhone components would have been around £2million – but are we really making the most of all the computing power now available at our fingertips?

Remaining up to date with the latest technology can be difficult. As soon as you’ve got to grips with the capabilities of the latest tablet or games console, the next model is already being prepared for release. This game of cat and mouse also applies to marketers, who need to maximise the technologies available to them, meeting (and even predicting) customers’ needs.

But as businesses and consumers rush ahead, are we missing out on anything, from handy user shortcuts to deep-rooted capabilities? The promise of automation carries the same risk for marketers looking to simplify their strategies at speed. Once businesses have invested in marketing automation programmes, they need to ask: are we getting the most out the increased functionality at our disposal?

There’s a danger that business leaders could adopt an attitude along the lines of: “we might not use all the functionality we’ve invested in just now, but it’s good to know we’ve got it”. This increasingly common sentiment proves that marketers aren’t making the most of the functions they’ve invested in, and are wasting money in the process. This could be the result of a lack of knowledge about how to use the technology – or an overestimation of the technology companies actually need. Both represent a waste of resources for marketers.

I don’t mean to suggest that marketers are at fault here, but simply that technology is evolving so rapidly that there isn’t always sufficient time to adequately train marketers to maximise the potential of new technologies. In their bid to keep abreast of consumer expectations and technological developments, businesses might also be investing in automation systems without accurately evaluating their brand’s actual requirements. Without understanding basic brand needs and objectives, technology will never be able to fulfil them.

To make the most of any automation investment, marketers must make sure they have the right people in place to implement and maintain their systems. If not, the next stage is to skill-up, skill-shift or recruit new talent into the workforce. These are implications that technology vendors should be able to advise and help clients with. It’s risky and, quite frankly, inaccurate to assume that one person alone is capable of developing successful and profitable large-scale automated marketing campaigns – even with the help of powerful technology.

One way to ensure marketers fully understand and capitalise on the potential of a specific marketing automation system is to work with a partner who can offer valuable on-going support and guidance. The benefits of working with third-party customer service experts include real-time support, training, project management or access to specialist designers. On-site and third party expertise provides much needed backup for automated campaigns.

If marketers are armed with powerful technology, given expert insight and training and have access to tech support, they have a far better chance of winning the battle to drive customer loyalty, and unleashing the full potential of automated marketing strategies and campaigns.

London’s Wearable Tech Show 2014

By Rupert Cook, Business Development Director at Gekko

Last week saw London’s Olympia host the UK’s first ever Wearable Technology Conference and Expo dedicated to showcasing the latest developments in smartwatches, wristbands and other wearable devices. With speakers from Microsoft, Google, Samsung and Intel, the show promised a lot, but did it live up to the hype?

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Platform-as-a-Service: The New Black?

By Ramesh Loganathan, Vice President of Products at Progress 

Are you a dedicated follower of fashion? Don’t worry if the answer is no. Today, fashion is no longer the sole domain of devout catwalk copycats, and we all follow trends whether it is a conscious decision or not. Some designs are timeless, but I think it is fair for us all to say that, despite being ‘cool at the time’, some past clothing purchases can quickly become outdated after finding themselves replaced by newer, more fashionable alternatives. In this way, it’s similar to the way we use and consume technology, both in our personal and professional lives. From this perspective, an old Discman, fax machine and desktop computer are all comparable to a pair of fetching tie-dye flares from the 70s. It is rare we see people using Commodore 64’s to do word processing!

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The World’s First Mobile Malware Celebrates its 10th Birthday

By Axelle Apvrille, senior mobile anti-virus analyst and researcher at Fortinet

From Cabir to FakeDefend, the last decade has seen the number of mobile malware explode. In 2013, Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs has seen more than 1,300 new malicious applications per day and is currently tracking over 300 Android malware families and over 400,000 malicious Android applications.

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