It’s the next phase in technology buzzword bingo and also the latest in the IT alphabet soup. At first MDM, which stood for Mobile Device Management, was the hottest topic in town. That was if you weren’t confusing it with Master Data Management, which by the way has been around quite a bit longer. But as the magazine covers pushed BYOD and MDM the term quickly caught on. That was until “Device” wasn’t inclusive enough. Then it became “Apps” or “Application” and “Content” and “Information” and it continues. So round and round we go, where the letters stop nobody knows!
What is fascinating is that this explosion of mobile technologies has provided the next start-up venture for business technology. It’s not about just developing the next cool app for Apple’s i-“fill in the blank here”. It’s now as much about developing applications designed for a myriad of mobile devices that can be leverage by an entire global workforce. And it’s about figuring out how to ensure that all of these mini electronic data stores are properly protected. It used to be data was stored in a datacenter or sometimes locally to a laptop of desktop. Laptops have been more than enough of a headache – you see it in the press all the time. Laptop lost with personal data from company X who assures users information is most likely safe but will provide them a free year of credit service anyway. We all know the song and dance. I actually sometimes think that there is a single script for such an event that has been given to every news outlet. Have you noticed they all use the same language to describe each of the events that fit these criteria? But now…there are multiples of those laptops and what’s even scarier to most companies, and definitely to IT departments everywhere, is the fact that they don’t own many of them and they have no idea that those mini storage devices even have any of their company data on them. Can you say “someone get rich, please”? What an awesome mountain to climb. And many are making the trek as you read this post in an effort to solve for this exact dilemma.
What’s your company doing about this? How are you defining the latest in the acronym activity? Where are you starting? I know many companies that have said that we just don’t support BYOD and since all the devices on our network are owned by us and we control them we are protected. Great for the stockholder meeting maybe; but, I hope they aren’t fooled into thinking that’s reality. Every company has a BYOD program, whether they openly admit it or not. Even if you have a company-owned only policy, there are ways you can protect your network, data and communications. But it does mean buying into the whole “MxM” thing – it’s not just for BYOD anymore.
What I can tell you I have learned over the last couple of years is that it was called “Device” first for a reason and that’s because it is actually the best place to start. It follows the simple and logical thinking – if you don’t know what you have how can you manage it? So if you don’t know what mobile devices are accessing your network, how can you knowingly allow or deny the flow of information the users with these devices currently enjoy? And then what? Well follow the acronym laden road – information, application, content and whatever’s next. As it becomes something worth managing, monitoring, controlling and securing in the world of Mobile Management, it will find its way between those two cozy, comfy “M’s”. When was the last time you had a better roadmap on how to tackle managing technology?