Mobile IT Watch: Five Mobile Management Software Firms
With smartphones entering the enterprise at a fast clip, mobile IT departments are left scrambling to keep track of the handheld devices. Fortunately, there are several companies that can help. We highlight the key offerings of five promising startups that make smartphones enterprise friendly by providing management, asset tracking and mobile security features. Smartphones are invading the enterprise in record numbers, especially now that several models have a price tag of under $100 (with carrier subsidies). The question for IT is whether theyll get ahead of this trend or struggle to catch up (as they did with Wi-Fi, laptops, and removable storage devices). People dont treat smartphones the same way they do laptops, but these devices have become every bit as powerful, said Rob Groome, IT manager at University of Southern Californias Institute for Creative Technologies. Groome pointed out that users chafe at such security policies as short timeouts followed by the need to enter a password to log back in.
This is standard practice for PCs and laptops, but with smartphones users feel the password requirement is overkill. Many users then find ways to disable these security features. In fact, with few IT management tools available, users are in the drivers seat when it comes to security. Even with Blackberrys, people find ways on the device to get around security obstacles, Groome said. Proactively enforcing security can even backfire. For instance, if you aggressively block URLs on the corporate WiFi network, users will move to open, unsecured networks whenever they can. Security, management and ownership (which determines who has the permission and ability to control the devices) are all concerns as the smartphone becomes entrenched in the enterprise. These five startups are tackling those problems, as well as some other things you may not have even thought were concerns:
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