In the beginning there was darkness, especially for those who needed to get work done on the road or at home. Workers left their data and productivity programs on their cumbersome desktops. Laptops made it possible to work outside the office, but connectivity was costly and inconsistent. Also, the minute you closed your laptop, you entered an information black hole of nothingness.

With the arrival of BlackBerry, people in corporate leadership became connected to their office. There was light, but it was more like faraway stars in a dark night sky than a beacon of brightness.

Then, in a white-hot burst of innovation, came the first smartphone.

The light spread, as did the devices, to people of all kinds. Executives had BlackBerries, but suddenly new touch-based devices with iOS and Android operating systems started to enter people’s pockets and their workplace.

Then—another bang—the tablet arrived, with larger screens that enabled even more work and play. Their larger size and increased intelligence finally made data retrieval and manipulation on the move a reality. The workers became enlightened, but their guardians in IT remained in the shadows, unconvinced. What devices should connect to corporate resources? Which should not? What was safe?

66% of IT Managers’ greatest security concerns stem from connecting personal devices to the corporate network – Ponemon Institute

How could the Big Bang of mobility be managed?

Enter Mobile Device Management (MDM), the nucleus of IT’s Big Bang point solution for being able to gain visibility and apply some controls. In this universal expansion, MDM gave IT the ability to enforce a passcode, connect to corporate resources such as email and WiFi networks, and monitor devices.

Devices managed by external service providers estimated to grow over 50% in 2013 – Gartner

Through APIs built into the operating system, IT could configure settings, enable or disable features, locate and lock devices remotely and even partially or fully wipe data when necessary.

IT declared this to be good, and the people mostly agreed. But as users and apps became more sophisticated, and documents such as spreadsheets and Word docs became manipulable on mobile devices, many companies found they needed more than just MDM.

In response to this plea, there came another expansion—the advent of solutions for app and content management and the separation of work and personal in the form of containers.

Managing Apps

Mobile Application Management (MAM), as the name implies, focused on the lifecycle aspects such as distribution, updates, enterprise app catalogs, blacklisting/whitelisting, and security. MAM was needed to manage the exploding universe of public and custom apps.

But applications are not “one size fits all”—some are not written or owned by the enterprise—so the ability to control them would always be limited. One ideal application for MAM is controlling a device dedicated to a single app in what has sometimes been dubbed “Kiosk Mode.” Use cases in retail stores and hotels have enabled this mode to expedite the check-in process, look up inventory, or order food and beverages.

Managing Content

Again, the universe expanded. In a burst of light the people were given Mobile Content Management (MCM). Now, files and documents could be shared selectively with the right members of a team. Some people have permission to see some documents, forward them, but not others. Some can edit the documents and save their changes back to the file share for all to see and sync them across their devices. MCM brought this kind of enablement and control to enterprise mobility. The future also held hope and promise—the potential for secure, private, simultaneous collaborative editing of shared documents on mobile devices without worry of colliding into rocky security asteroids often found with public file share services like Google or Dropbox.

This series of expansions, in such a short period of time, left the market with such a dizzying array of choices to manage mobility, that IT quite nearly plunged into self-imposed darkness once again, lest it attempt to make sense of the endpoint management options now available.

Boundaries Between Work and Life

Another flash—many of the people were now prepared for this burst of light and had bought sunglasses. From the heavens dropped a container, sharpening the focus of MAM and MCM, and creating a dual persona experience.

A container offers a more fine-grained approach to managing both apps and content based on context and identity—who they are, where they are located, and what role they have in the organization. It also separates personal and enterprise data by shielding enterprise apps from personal apps and sandboxing work email or documents.

Containers protect employee privacy and provide separate controls for company use, such as network access and secure, company-approved web browsing. They can prevent copying data from one “side” of the device to the other, and the employer-owned container can be wiped or locked if nefarious activity occurs, without affecting the other “side” of the device. The archetypal use case is an employee in a highly regulated industry entrusted with sensitive company information.


IT was overjoyed. Now the people could download apps from commercial app stores without compromising company systems. Containers also gave people more flexibility, as the “work side” of the container could simply be deleted, without affecting the rest of the data and apps on the device.

Many enterprises use multiple software platforms and exchange numerous document types constantly on desktop computers and local networks. “Why can’t we do this securely on our mobile devices?” the people asked.

The market is undergoing another cataclysm, but this time it is more like an implosion than an expansion. Many of the point solutions that solved aspects of mobile business problems are being consolidated under Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), which enables IT to easily put its arms around the entirety of data and security concerns in the mobile universe. Today’s epoch is like a Renaissance from the Dark Ages and promises to offer more choices to organizations large and small, with infinite flexibility to choose the components that satisfy real business requirements.

EMM enables IT to easily put its arms around the entirety of data and security concerns in the mobile universe. Schedule a consultation with Flagship to learn more.

Resource: CITO Research White Paper, “Enterprise Mobility Management The Big Bang Theory”

If you liked this blog, you also might like:  Mobile Device Management – Denial is not a Strategy

logo-ibmStay connected online:

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram

IBM MobileFirst

Combine the power of enterprise data and analytics with an elegant user experience to redefine how you empower your professionals to interact, learn, connect, and perform. IBM MobileFirst for iOS: Enterprise insights at your fingertipsMake your mobile app the one customers love to use by designing intuitive experiences that work, interacting in a highly personalized way, and using location to your advantage.Take your apps from good to great with a modular mobile application platform that helps you securely integrate and manage mobile apps – whether you build, buy, or bring your own.Enable your IT and security professionals to manage their smartphones, tablets, app content, and infrastructure – to deliver enterprise mobility, productivity and operational efficiency.              

  • IBM’s Approach to Mobile Application Management

  • Learn how IBM’s mobile application management capabilities help companies build, run, connect, manage, and secure their mobile apps.

  • IBM MobileFirst: Advantage! Alexandra Willis and Matthew Candy Talk Mobile

  • Advantage mobile! Join us in the MobileIdeas cab as we drive through Barcelona to MWC16. Today, we’re riding with Alexandra Willis, Wimbledon’s head of …

  • What is the IBM MobileFirst Platform?

  • Regardless of where you are in your mobile journey, the IBM MobileFirst Platform provides integrated, yet modular, services to build, integrate and scale great …

  • IBM MobileFirst Enables Enterprise Mobility

  • IBM MobileFirst is the industry’s most complete mobile solution portfolio that enables mobility enterprise. It includes mobile software, services, and industry …

  • Infographic: Mobile Development Projects

  • Engagement made with mobile Made with IBM

  • Presence made with mobile Made with IBM

  • Enterprise Mobility: The Fiberlink Boost

  • In this program, Anna Gilligan talks with Fiberlink’s Jim Sheward about the three hottest ways to get more bang from your business buck… Using your own smartphone or tablet in work makes sense for staff and organizations. But there are significant risks in terms of security, regulatory compliance and HR policies. So what can be done to improve your bring your own device or BYOD policy? Jim Sheward believes apps, mobile and the cloud offer incredible and immediate business benefits — the secret is 360-degree control…

  • White Paper: 5 Ways To Optimize Your Mobile Applicaitons With Ibm Mobile Behavior Analysis

  • Report Forrester Why Good Apps Are Not Good Enough

  • There’s nothing wrong with a good mobile app, except that it isn’t great. On the surface, a good mobile app may appear to satisfy customers and generate revenue. But separating the great apps from the good reveals significant, long-term differences in customer loyalty and spend. With companies competing for customers’ precious mobile moments, the opportunity is ripe to meet and exceed their expectations and reap the financial rewards.

    In August 2015, IBM commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate what turns consumers and other users both off and onto a mobile app (and its authoring brand), focusing on the following questions: What elevates a good, serviceable, and even profitable app into the realm of great? And if a mobile app achieves greatness, what is the impact? Forrester Consulting conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers in the US, UK, Canada, and India who use mobile devices, a survey of 200 technology and business professionals in the US, UK, Canada, and India responsible for mobile apps, and six qualitative interviews with mobile app initiative leaders in enterprises of 500+ employees.

    Forrester found that companies that produced mobile applications they defined as great achieved remarkable results, even over those who produced mobile apps they defined as good.

  • Solution Brief: IBM MobileFirst