“Mobile Device Management” is a report based on Peter Ehrhard and Craig Masters’ Web Forum presentation. They are Chief Architects within the CIO Organization at Harris Corporation. This report presents an overview of Harris’s mobility strategy, which is driven by a “Bring Your Own Devices” (BYOD) approach. It includes sections focusing on mobile security and management, necessary infrastructure upgrades, and application development methodologies. Finally, you will read about the company’s Zenprise implementation experience and the tool’s critical role in securing mobile devices that consume Harris data.
This brief passage below describes some of the lessons Harris learned about MDM during the project. IMF members can download the full report here.
“First, implementation complexity was higher than anticipated, particularly for the Android environment. Android is difficult to keep up with its many versions and platforms for all of the vendors but there is hope that Android 4.0′s arrival will minimize some of that complexity.
Good communications need to be established with the end users, as they will have many questions. They will want to alleviate their fears and concerns before putting an MDM agent on their personal device. With 3,000 personal devices attempting to access the company network, Harris expects to lose some users as employees realize they either do not need email on the device or do not want to install the agent.
User adoption has been lower than anticipated which can be attributed to concerns about putting an agent on their personal device that allows Harris to have full admin access. Employees are understandably hesitant by the policy itself which is written strongly in order to give Harris the rights it needs in case of a data spill situation. International privacy laws were also initially posing a challenge.
Mobile device technology is changing quickly, making it difficult for MDM vendors to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape. Minimum device and OS standards must be refreshed on a frequent basis, and there must be a commitment to patching the MDM infrastructure frequently as new versions of the MDM software are being released. Harris is now planning on patching every two to three months as technology evolves, the MDM software matures, and new mobile OS versions are introduced. This is a change for Harris; typically servers are patched on as needed basis and primarily for security reasons.
The company is cautiously aware that the MDM market is pre-consolidation and that traditional vendors that manage desktops are getting into this space. There are 60+ MDM vendors currently, and Harris expects significant changes in the next several years. Some companies are going to be bought out and Harris sees Zenprise as a candidate. In fact, that is one of the risk factors that Harris has identified for Zenprise…”