5: No one-size-fits-all-platforms MDM solution
Though many vendors offer products to help manage and secure devices like iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, most of the services are specific to one platform or just a few platforms, making it difficult or impossible to use one product to manage all of your various devices and platforms, Forrester says. Vendors plan to add support for lesser-used platforms, such as Windows Phone 7, but right now, IT must use a variety of products to manage their various mobile platforms.
As a result, many organizations aren't seeing the same level of security and manageability for all platforms as they were in the past for, say, BlackBerry devices.
6: Encourage IT suppliers to offer app stores that suit the enterprise
Few if any MDM vendors offer application delivery methods or stores that truly meet enterprise management and security requirements while delivering software to various devices and platforms, Forrester says. This is a huge obstacle in the way of delivering truly robust enterprise apps to smartphones, tablets, and other devices, and IT should push its suppliers to create app stores that meet business needs. Enterprises should work with suppliers to derive and test application delivery methods that can deliver complex applications to a variety of device types, according to Forrester.
7: Employ virtualization for access to Windows apps on non-Windows devices
Until vendors can offer more mature application stores that cater to a wider variety of mobile platforms, organizations should consider using virtualization products to bring critical Windows apps to mobile devices, Forrester says. Vendors like Apperian, AppCentral, Partnerpedi,a and Citrix all offer such products.
8: Support employee-owned devices, but set strict usage guidelines
MDM products help IT support various mobile devices and platforms, but supporting these devices means addressing a complex new set of security challenges. IT should prepare itself for the challenge by setting clear rules and regulations for which types of devices can be used or will be supported -- and which won't -- as well as who will pay for them.
9: Make it clear to users which mobile services are approved
IT should provide a clear set of guidelines on not only the devices that will be supported, but also which services are sanctioned for use on enterprise devices, Forrester says. On that note, IT should clarify that not all devices and services are supported. IT may also want to make staffers with mobile devices sign an official mobile-device policy form that specifies IT has the right to wipe corporate devices at any time, if necessary.
10) Reimbursement for employee device service costs can serve as incentives
Forrester says that allowing users to employ their own mobile devices for work purposes can reduce overall mobile device management and support costs. That's because such users often must contact their wireless carriers for help with support issues, instead of IT.
It's also a good idea to determine just how your employees are using their devices for work, and how much IT support is necessary, and then tailor reimbursement for wireless service accordingly. Staffers could eventually look at payment for their monthly service as incentive to be more productive with their mobile devices, according to Forrester.