|By Swarna Podila||
|April 15, 2013 08:00 AM EDT||
There is little argument at this point that the mass adoption of mobile technology and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies by enterprises is a true business technology revolution. At the core, the catalysts driving this revolution are the vast array of mobile devices leveraging soaring bandwidth - 4G - and super-fast internals - quad-core processors - which have become commonplace.
With this high-bandwidth, ultra-capable combination, end users see the productivity and convenience possible by running the newest, most sophisticated business applications on their own personal mobile devices.
And it's not just end users who can benefit. A recent Symantec survey found that innovative companies - early technology adopters, especially of mobile technology - are seeing significantly higher revenue growth and higher profits than traditional organizations; in fact, by nearly 50 percent.
The question facing every enterprise is, "Are we re-imagining our business with mobility as a central component?" Here are some suggestions on how to accomplish this, while keeping sensitive business data secure.
Evaluate App and Data Needs
The previously mentioned Symantec survey found that 84 percent of those successful, innovative companies are proactively adapting their businesses based on business drivers rather than simply reacting to user demand. So, companies need to evaluate. Thus, the first step in re-imagining business in a mobile world is to determine the apps and data end users could utilize - beyond email - to get their jobs done more efficiently.
Apps for CRM, e-Health and ERP are just a few good examples of line-of-business apps companies in different industries can leverage to improve productivity through mobility. Add to this list cloud-based file storage apps that give users access to their data across computing platforms.
Beyond app type, companies must take a closer look at target user groups to determine each segment's specific data access needs. Some users might need resident data on their devices, while others who are likely to have connectivity all the time can manage with cloud-based data. Understanding each group's specific needs will help determine the type of technology approaches possible.
Once app type and data access requirements are well understood, companies need to explore app procurement. For some, the only way to get exactly what is needed is to build a custom app or have one built for them. However, hundreds of thousands of apps are already available for the most popular mobile operating systems and, in many instances, the perfect app likely already exists.
Keep App and Data Security Top of Mind
The Symantec survey referenced earlier also found that the innovative companies who are leading the way in mobility adoption also experience about twice as many mobile security-related incidents, such as loss of corporate data. This leads to a second question enterprises must ask, "How do we keep our sensitive data safe in a mobile world?"
From a high level, there are really two approaches to keeping business data on mobile devices secure. The first is protecting data at the device level and the second is protecting it at the app level.
Device Level Data Protection
Data protection on mobile devices at the device level largely involves mobile device management (MDM) software. MDM provides business IT with control over complete devices and, as such, policies can ensure devices are password-protected and also provide the ability to remotely lock or wipe devices in the event of a loss or theft and even prevent the forwarding of emails.
However, MDM cannot address other data loss-related concerns such as copy and pasting of sensitive information or, more important, protecting corporate data in applications beyond the email client.
Thus, the device level approach creates an environment where it becomes far too easy for sensitive data to mingle with personal apps and leak out through, for example, a web-based email account, social networking application or personal cloud storage. This can all occur without IT ever knowing.
App Level Data Protection
The next logical area where enterprises can implement and enforce policies to keep data on mobile devices secure is at the app level. The previous iterations of this approach involved sandboxing technologies, where corporate data on mobile devices is held in an established digital container on devices, and data flow from the sandbox or container is controlled. This approach prevents the confluence of personal and corporate data, the ability to copy and paste data accessed from within the sandbox to other areas on the device, and unauthorized email forwards from within the sandbox.
This sandbox approach worked well when email was the only app businesses wanted to mobilize. However, as companies re-imagine their businesses with a focus on mobility, this approach falls short. Any corporate app that needs protection has to be built in or modified to fit into the sandbox. With the diversity of apps available, this approach is very limiting and even the early proponents of this technology are moving on to other strategies.
One of these strategies is mobile application management (MAM), which addresses the limitations of sandboxes while still meeting corporate security needs. MAM technology allows companies to wrap their corporate apps and the data tied to them in their own security and management layers. This gives enterprises complete control of their apps and data while leaving user-owned information untouched. In contrast to the legacy sandboxing approach, it does this without any additional overhead, either from affecting device usage or source code modifications.
With MAM, controls such as authentication, encryption, data loss prevention and expiration - apps and data can be manually expired or set to automatically remove themselves from devices based on perimeters established by administrators - can all be applied to corporate apps and other resources on otherwise unmanaged, user-owned devices. In this way, complete end-to-end visibility and control over where sensitive data is flowing - regardless of what mobile application or service is being used to traffic the data - can be achieved and, just as important, maintained.
In addition, MAM allows multiple corporate apps to securely communicate with each other and for data traffic segregation, so all traffic from corporate apps can be routed through the corporate network while the personal traffic is left unmonitored.
It is important to note, however, that MAM as a term is being used loosely within the industry. Different technology vendors use it to describe different things. Some refer to app distribution functionality as MAM and still others refer to simple app blocking as MAM.
From an enterprise perspective, however, MAM should be more than that. More than simply distributing the right apps and blocking the wrong ones, MAM is about protecting the corporate apps and data on mobile devices by taking management from a device level to an application level. It is the most effective tool for separating corporate data from personal data to make safe, effective BYOD policies possible.
Re-imagining business for a mobile world, while not without its growing pains, can be a fairly straightforward process. However, to re-imagine business for a mobile world confidently, MAM should be a part of every discussion.
APIs have taken the world by storm in recent years. The use of APIs has gone beyond just traditional "software" companies, to companies and organizations across industries using APIs to share information and power their applications. For some organizations, APIs are the biggest revenue drivers. For example, Salesforce generates nearly 50% of annual revenue through APIs. In other cases, APIs can increase a business's footprint and initiate collaboration. Netflix, for example, reported over 5 bi...
Apr. 28, 2016 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,485
As the software delivery industry continues to evolve and mature, the challenge of managing the growing list of the tools and processes becomes more daunting every day. Today, Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) platforms are proving most valuable by providing the governance, management and coordination for every stage of development, deployment and release. Recently, I spoke with Madison Moore at SD Times about the changing market and where ALM is headed.
Apr. 28, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,346
If there is anything we have learned by now, is that every business paves their own unique path for releasing software- every pipeline, implementation and practices are a bit different, and DevOps comes in all shapes and sizes. Software delivery practices are often comprised of set of several complementing (or even competing) methodologies – such as leveraging Agile, DevOps and even a mix of ITIL, to create the combination that’s most suitable for your organization and that maximize your busines...
Apr. 28, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,700
These days I mostly make my living as a consultant. Consultants in general are probably not the best loved group in the world. It is common to think of consultants wafting-in to your organization, telling you things that you already know and advising you to “change your culture”, whatever that means. Subsequently they depart, no-doubt with a fat fee, and leave you as you were before with the same problems and no progress made.
Apr. 28, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,409
Struggling to keep up with increasing application demand? Learn how Platform as a Service (PaaS) can streamline application development processes and make resource management easy.
Apr. 28, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,937
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
Apr. 28, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,752
New Relic, Inc. has announced a set of new features across the New Relic Software Analytics Cloud that offer IT operations teams increased visibility, and the ability to diagnose and resolve performance problems quickly. The new features further IT operations teams’ ability to leverage data and analytics, as well as drive collaboration and a common, shared understanding between teams. Software teams are under pressure to resolve performance issues quickly and improve availability, as the comple...
Apr. 28, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,352
The goal of any tech business worth its salt is to provide the best product or service to its clients in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. This is just as true in the development of software products as it is in other product design services. Microservices, an app architecture style that leans mostly on independent, self-contained programs, are quickly becoming the new norm, so to speak. With this change comes a declining reliance on older SOAs like COBRA, a push toward more s...
Apr. 28, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,200
Join IBM June 8 at 18th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn how to innovate like a startup and scale for the enterprise. You need to deliver quality applications faster and cheaper, attract and retain customers with an engaging experience across devices, and seamlessly integrate your enterprise systems. And you can't take 12 months to do it.
Apr. 28, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,710
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
Apr. 28, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,601
The proper isolation of resources is essential for multi-tenant environments. The traditional approach to isolate resources is, however, rather heavyweight. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Igor Drobiazko, co-founder of elastic.io, will draw upon their own experience with operating a Docker container-based infrastructure on a large scale and present a lightweight solution for resource isolation using microservices. He will also discuss the implementation of microservices in data and applicat...
Apr. 28, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,622
Digital means customer preferences and behavior are driving enterprise technology decisions to be sure, but let’s not forget our employees. After all, when we say customer, we mean customer writ large, including partners, supply chain participants, and yes, those salaried denizens whose daily labor forms the cornerstone of the enterprise. While your customers bask in the warm rays of your digital efforts, are your employees toiling away in the dark recesses of your enterprise, pecking data into...
Apr. 28, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 794
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Apr. 28, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,437
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
Apr. 28, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,158
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Apr. 28, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,380
I had the opportunity to catch up with Chris Corriere - DevOps Engineer at AutoTrader - to talk about his experiences in the realm of Rugged DevOps. We discussed automation, culture and collaboration, and which thought leaders he is following. Chris Corriere: Hey, I'm Chris Corriere. I'm a DevOps Engineer AutoTrader. Derek Weeks: Today we're going to talk about Rugged DevOps. It's a subject that's gaining a lot of traction in the community but not a lot of people are really familiar with wh...
Apr. 28, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,517
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Apr. 28, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,377
With DevOps becoming more well-known and established practice in nearly every industry that delivers software, it is important to continually reassess its efficacy. This week’s top 10 includes a discussion on how the quick uptake of DevOps adoption in the enterprise has posed some serious challenges. Additionally, organizations who have taken the DevOps plunge must find ways to find, hire and keep their DevOps talent in order to keep the machine running smoothly.
Apr. 28, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,298
Call it DevOps or not, if you are concerned about releasing more code faster and at a higher quality, the resulting software delivery chain and process will look and smell like DevOps. But for existing development teams, no matter what the velocity objective is, getting from here to there is not something that can be done without a plan. Moving your release cadence from months to weeks is not just about learning Agile practices and getting some automation tools. It involves people, tooling and ...
Apr. 28, 2016 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,438
Between the mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Charles Kendrick, CTO & Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how business and devel...
Apr. 28, 2016 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,613