Mobile devices are now an integral part of our lives. If we leave our phone or tablet on the kitchen table in the morning, we will almost certainly turn the car around to go back and get it. They are rapidly becoming our go-to device for both work and leisure.
Each new model seems to bring more storage space, processing power and advanced capabilities that were mere ideas just a few short years ago.
Mobile devices have become some of our most vital tools with which we do business. This is because they provide a productivity platform that is with us everywhere we go. And, with the capacity to store and process more data of increasing importance to our business and personal lives, we rely more and more on sophisticated applications (apps).
What we don’t consider is that each of these apps has an end user license agreement (EULA) of one kind or another – and these might not be free when used for commercial purposes. As such, it’s more important than ever that the enterprise at least has visibility and control of what we download to our phones.
MOBILE SAM TO THE RESCUE!
In order to manage sophisticated mobile apps, you need to extend your Software Asset Management (SAM) program (no doubt already providing great benefit on the desktop and datacenter estate) to mobile devices, ensuring that you have licensed your mobile devices correctly for the applications that are that run on them. Like desktop and datacenter environments, you need to have visibility of the applications installed on your mobile devices, the frequency of use, and the primary user.
Applications like Office 365 allow a user to install the software on up to five devices – including mobiles and tablets. Mobile SAM provides organizations with visibility of how many instances of Office 365 have been installed on mobile devices, which enables the SAM team to understand how many installs a user has left and also helps moderate unauthorized installations.
It is far too easy to overspend on applications within the mobile environment. There are so many apps on the market that perform the same function that organizations can be tempted into spending more money than required to find the right fit for their environment. This is also said of the users – downloading a mobile app for work purposes and then expensing the purchase to the organization. The ease of downloading these applications combined with advanced storage capabilities also means unused applications may sit on a user’s phone in perpetuity. Wouldn’t it be great if you could uninstall that application, have the ability to redistribute it to another user and reduce the need for additional licenses?
From the outset, you need to create a standard list – essentially a whitelist – of mobile applications that have been tested and approved by the business, a mobile software catalog if you will. That way the business can identify the required applications for users with a corporate device, identify how to license the app and if they have any spare licenses, as well as test them to ensure they are secure. By creating a mobile software catalog in a secure mobile environment, all users with a corporate device know what apps they can and cannot have, reducing the number of unapproved apps on mobile devices.
With mobile devices and apps becoming far more powerful, you need tighter controls on what a user can and cannot do with their mobile device. Physicians routinely use phones and tablets to interact with patient data and make diagnoses. All it takes is loss or theft of one unsecured device to expose medical records containing protected health information (PHI) of hundreds of thousands of patients.
This can result in millions of dollars in fines for HIPAA violations for a health system, as well as lost revenue due to a lack of trust from patients that have a right to have their information secured.
In order to effectively manage your mobile devices and associated applications, you need a sophisticated mobile solution to help ensure you do not overspend within your mobile environment. You need to have visibility on who is using what, and when, so you can proactively and effectively manage your mobile assets and applications.
In order to successfully manage your mobile environment, you need technology. Snow Device Manager is an example of a SAM-integrated solution that helps you effectively administer and manage the full lifecycle of tablets and phones from sourcing to end of life.
The solution enables you to effectively mitigate risks within the mobile environment, identify applications that need a license and helps you identify apps that you may not want on a corporate device. Snow Device Manager provides you with all of the information and data you need in order to ensure you do not overspend on applications within the mobile environment.
MOBILE SAM ADOPTION WILL INCREASE
The evolution of mobile devices will see the worldwide adoption of Mobile SAM to manage risks and licenses within the mobile world. The gap in power and capabilities between your laptop or desktop and your phone or tablet is rapidly shrinking which means you need to proactively manage ALL mobile assets on the network along with their associated licenses as soon as possible. If you are looking to adopt Mobile SAM, then I highly recommend you read our Whitepaper entitled ‘Mobile Device Inventory’.
You’ll pick up some great pointers and advice from the Whitepaper that will help kick-start your Mobile SAM function.