IT has encountered challenges when trying to deploy corporate apps on personal smartphones, but new innovations are making it easier than ever before.
The idea of carrying two smartphones – one for personal use and one for business use – always seemed ridiculous. But communication and collaboration from anywhere, anytime are such key tenets of doing business today, it seemed necessary. Clients might be less likely, for example, to pick up a call if the caller ID reads “Jojo Smith” instead of “Joe Smith, Megacorp.” In a competitive world, it’s important to carefully draw (and maintain) the lines between professional and personal.
The industry made a number of clunky technological attempts to solve this problem. There were hypervisors for running virtual operating systems on phones, but they took up a lot of storage and were difficult for IT to manage. There were partitioning tools to keep corporate data separate from personal data. These allowed IT to erase corporate data from the phone if it was lost or the employee left the company, while leaving personal data intact—but they didn’t always work properly.
Mobile device management and mobile application management became two new categories for IT to become familiar with. The result? More point solutions, more procurement, and more licensing arrangements to oversee.
But recently, a brilliant idea presented itself. If Amazon and United Airlines can develop apps that offer customers access into back-end databases, why can’t an organization create an app for employees to do the same? Why can’t a telecommunications carrier create an app to allow customer access – secure and safe, just like other password-protected apps – into a public cloud?
No more clunky hypervisors or partitions - just a robust way to make a smartphone another secure endpoint in a vast network of devices, one that IT can easily monitor and manage. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one.