Extending always-connected capabilities with mobile device management
Across a wide range of industries, today’s on-the-go workers increasingly prefer to use their own laptops, tablets and smartphones. By leveraging the opportunity to support always-connected employees who have the freedom to bring their own devices into the workplace, organizations are enjoying elevated productivity, business agility and efficiency as they integrate technology advances comfortably into individual work environments.

At the same time, IT departments must respond to significant management and security challenges posed by the proliferation of consumerized devices and applications in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workplace environments. Because many personal computing devices were not built to be enterprise-ready, IT departments must find a way to securely manage and effectively control access to critical enterprise applications and data from these devices. To help achieve that goal, IT teams must extend systems management capabilities by building out an infrastructure designed to manage mobile devices.
Implementing an end-to-end approach to managing mobile devices in organizational IT environments
Apple® iOS and Google™ Android™ mobile operating systems in particular have driven standardization of mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM). These operating systems offer a defined set of controls around which management vendors can build an infrastructure for MDM and MAM. Originally, MDM focused on managing mobile devices and their attributes, such as installed applications, software, settings, end-user information and security. In contrast, MAM focused on managing mobile applications and their attributes, including settings, security, the device on which they are installed and the end users who access them.

Over time, MDM and MAM have merged to offer similar functionality. As a result, a management infrastructure that supports mobility has become commoditized to the point that virtually every approach offers basic features for device and application management. Because vendors differentiate themselves through advanced features and usability, understanding these differences helps IT organizations evaluate options and select a mobile device and application management approach that is appropriate for their business needs (see figure).

Building out comprehensive mobile device management

Many approaches to MDM offer rich functionality. However, a siloed approach that uses separate point solutions for managing desktop systems, virtual machines and mobile computing devices can create inefficiencies, degrade the end user’s IT service experience and hinder the application of security policies consistently across all IT assets.

An IT team that already manages desktops, laptops, servers and virtual machines can benefit from using an integrated approach to managing these devices along with laptops, tablets and smartphones across many platforms. Dell KACE™ K Series Appliances utilize an integrated approach, enabling IT administrators to manage these assets from a central location that enhances efficiency and helps reduce costs.

An organization that has critical security requirements and an IT staff with specialized training could very well benefit from on-premises deployment of MDM. Installation and data storage are often controlled and managed entirely in-house. On-premises deployment enables IT organizations to triage any issues that arise without having to make time-consuming support calls to a service provider. And despite initial up-front costs coupled with ongoing support costs, on-premises MDM deployments are designed to be increasingly cost-effective over time. Dell KACE K Series Appliances, including the Dell KACE K3000 Mobile Management Appliance, are available as both physical and virtual appliances to offer organizations a variety of deployment options that are easy to use and maintain.

Layered protection technology

Securing enterprise content on personal devices in the workplace is particularly challenging because mobile devices pose an intrinsically higher risk of being lost or stolen than traditional desktop computers. Mobile devices also function outside the controllable confines of the organizational network. Although many security technologies are available to address this problem, none alone can ensure that enterprise content is completely safe. Several layers of security are typically required to build effective protection. In addition to network encryption, virtual private networks (VPNs) and firewalls, IT organizations can control access through virtualization or containerization.

Virtualization allows access to enterprise content through virtualized desktops and applications, offering a seamless experience across all devices and helping ensure that sensitive data is never stored locally on mobile devices. However, virtualization does not offer offline access, and the end-user experience can be limited by network bandwidth. Containerization creates a secure repository for enterprise content that resides on mobile devices, helping ensure that sensitive data is safe while offering offline access. When an employee leaves the organization, however, administrators must take positive action to remove local data from the device.

The Dell™ portfolio of mobility solutions helps IT teams protect enterprise content from unauthorized mobile devices and unsecured access points. By utilizing a multilayered approach to security, IT organizations can deploy a secure organizational container designed to protect valuable data not only on data center servers, but also on mobile devices in the field and at remote locations.

Managing mobile devices on premises

Dell KACE K3000 Mobile Management Appliances deliver an on-premises approach to leading-edge systems management technology for managing BYOD environments. This robust approach to integration, deployment and security helps IT organizations integrate management of PCs, servers, mobile devices and other end-user devices while helping simplify complex and repetitive systems management tasks.

With support for Apple iOS and Google Android platforms, Dell KACE K3000 Mobile Management Appliances provide both MDM and MAM capabilities. Integrating these offerings with Dell KACE K1000 Systems Management Appliances, which support Microsoft® Windows®, Apple Mac® OS X and Linux® operating systems, enables IT organizations to accurately and efficiently track, monitor and manage servers and desktops together with diverse mobile devices.

To help enterprises fully realize the potential benefits of BYOD workplace environments, Dell enables IT organizations to extend their systems management capabilities and embrace mobile devices. Dell KACE K3000 Mobile Management Appliances offer a simple and cost-effective way to help IT organizations protect mission-critical applications and data — helping to avert security risks from a deluge of consumerized mobile devices and applications flooding into today’s enterprise workplace.

Saranya Babu is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for the Dell KACE K1000 Management Appliance and the Dell KACE K3000 Mobile Management Appliance.

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