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The ultimate guide to MDM in the Middle East

Tom Paye | Nov. 13, 2013
It sounds like a no-brainer, but according to Prilson, MDM penetration in the Middle East is still low, despite the high device penetration.

"2013 has been a period of change and consolidation in the MDM market, and the trends emerging now will continue to shape it in 2014. Organisations of all kinds will continue to look for ways to negotiate the challenges of mobile consumerisation and BYOD, which are creating high demand for MDM services. In particular, they are pushing the ability to manage and secure data at the app level," he says.

Indeed, Sahni claims that the threats facing organisations are very real when it comes to BYOD. He says that, while some companies might view MDM solutions as a bonus capability, very soon, more will view them as a necessity. "The risk of losing data via a personally owned device is very real, and data loss could be very damaging from financial, reputational, and legal perspectives," he explains.

However, MDM isn't simply a way to reel in BYOD and to change things back to the way they were, as Enaya recalls. Organisations now need to tread a fine line between guaranteeing network safety and still providing employees with the freedom of working with their own devices.

"CIOs are worries about protecting their corporate information and enterprise network, not about the personal use of devices. A very clear boundary must be drawn while introducing MDM and BYOD into corporate culture. Separating personal data from corporate data is the key. Secure container is a way to go forward which helps movement of corporate data in a secure and controlled space within the devices. Corporates should have all the rights to control the secure container and leave everything behind," explains Prilson.

Already, there are consumer devices that support the compartmentalisation of data. For example, when it launched its new range of BlackBerry 10 devices earlier this year, BlackBerry made a lot of noise about the ability to separate personal and corporate data from each other with the help of BlackBerry Enterprise Service. Meanwhile, a horde of iPhone and Android apps are also available to users wanting to separate their personal and work lives, though some are more effective than others.

Ethics also play a large part in the argument over MDM. What if corporate and personal data gets mixed up on a personal device? Does the employee have the right to move corporate data from one personal device to another? And does the organisation have the right to remotely wipe a personal device? These are all questions that CIOs--and their companies' lawyers--are wrangling with, simply because MDM solutions can control the outcome of any of these scenarios. But according Sahni, the right balance can be found, so long as appropriate and easy-to-understand guidelines are drawn up for both the company and its employees.


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