CIOs and IT managers are constantly pitched the notion of managing apps on their users' iPhones and other smartphones. Beware app chaos, claim some vendors. Beware time-wasting usage on the job, suggest others. Beware information leakage, warn most. There are more than 100 vendors offering tools to manage -- that is, straitjacket -- your users' mobile devices in the name of management and security. New ones pop up almost every week.
So I was struck by data from Fiberlink, an established mobile device management (MDM) vendor, on what percentage of MDM-using businesses had the most basic form of app management applied: blacklisting and whitelisting of apps. For iOS, it was fewer than 10 percent; for Android, fewer than 5 percent. (iOS accounts for the vast majority of business-managed smartphones.)
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Clearly, IT is not actually concerned about what apps are running on employee devices. The data covers both employee- and corporate-owned devices, making the low, low app management figures all that more remarkable.
It's great news because too much focus in the industry is on restricting the usage of mobile technology, demonstrating a prison-guard mentality that has turned IT into -- at best -- a necessary evil in many newly empowered users' minds. Three years of fearmongering by security vendors and some IT pros have not proven out in the real world, and I think IT is finally either getting a clue or giving up on control mania.