IT has gone from managing a highly controlled base of tools to trying to manage a far more heterogeneous mix of devices (smartphones, tablet computers, 3G/4G data cards, netbooks, tablets) running on any number of operating systems. Trying to control all these tools is becoming unnecessary: Cloud services and applications make most data accessible from any device running any OS. The mandate for IT? Shifting from old-school device management to the far more critical and strategic discipline of user management.
This new mandate — managing, enabling, and securing users’ mobile behavior — is now beginning to require its own suite of tools. However, as young and fractured as the market still is, most vendors still offer products and features that address just one part of a company’s mobile needs, rather than all of them. This à la carte approach to managing mobility means IT managers must piece together a complete stack that works for their company.
It’s a complex undertaking, given that no two companies manage mobility the same way. Companies may embrace bring-your-own-device programs, for instance, in a spectrum of ways — or not at all. Each company has its own unique approach to acquiring, distributing, funding, managing, and outfitting its employees’ mobile devices. And every company needs different apps and levels of security.