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Analysis

Enterprise Readiness of Consumer Mobile Platforms
Nigel Stanley By: Nigel Stanley, Practice Leader - IT Security, Bloor Research
Published: 18th April 2012
Copyright Bloor Research © 2012
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I recently completed a project working with Trend Micro to determine the suitability of consumer devices for corporate use.

An increasing number of companies are opening corporate networks and data to consumer mobile technology. The resulting trend, usually referred as the consumerisation of enterprise mobility, assumes even more disruptive connotations when the employees are allowed to use their own smartphones and tablets to work-commonly referred as BYOD or Bring Your Own Device.

Consumer technology is convenient, easy to learn, and fun to use. However, consumer technology is generally not as secure and manageable as required by the enterprise. Consumer technology brings real business value in terms of productivity and business agility. However, the lack of a strategic approach to the consumerisation of IT creates security risks, financial exposure, and a management nightmare. Rather than resist it, organisations should embrace  consumerisation to unlock its business potential. This requires a strategic approach, flexible policies, and appropriate security and management tools. A strategic approach to consumerisation starts with a clear understanding of the security and management capabilities of each mobile platform. While no mobile platform is immune from security vulnerabilities and management limitations, some platforms are more mature than others with regard to supporting the most appropriate set of policies required by the different mobile roles within the organisation.

This independent study offers an impartial and objective evaluation of today's four leading mobile operating systems: BlackBerry OS, Apple iOS, Windows Phone, and Android. In addition, it offers a comprehensive framework of analysis including 60 security and management criteria organised in 12 categories and a corollary guide for defining mobile roles and postures. This document is not intended to forecast adoption or market fate of individual platforms, because these are irrelevant to the IT managers who will likely have to consider some level of support for all of them anyway. Instead, the analytical framework and the experts' ratings are intended to provide a valuable tool for the definition of sound mobile policies. This allows IT managers to embrace consumerization with confidence and to turn it into a competitive advantage for their organisations.

The full report is available here

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