Over the last three years, the use of smartphones has exploded. As more and more people are carrying their own smartphones and tablets, they often have better mobile computing tools that what their company provides. This means more and more employees are opting to use their own devices for work projects.
Consider a recent study by LANDesk. After surveying 193 IT managers and administrators from medium to large organizations, here is what they found:
- 44 percent of those surveyed said at least part of their workforce works remotely.
- 77 percent of those surveyed said end users use their personal mobile devices in the workplace.
- 54 percent of those surveyed reported that they do not currently have a security strategy for mobile devices in place.
- 37 percent of those surveyed reported that they deal with more than 10 malware incidents a month.
That second bullet is an eye-opener. 77 percent of those surveyed acknowledged that employees are using their personal mobile devices in the workplace. This means that IT faces the challenges of supporting a very different workplace that just a few years ago. Steve Workman, Vice President of LANDesk says, “The days of provisioning and maintaining a single computing platform, locking down work environments and mandating productivity systems are dead. This survey of mobile device management drives these points home. We surveyed a cross section of IT managers and administrators, and their feedback shows the dramatic nature of this shift and emphasises the immediacy of the change.”
This new challenge requires businesses to have some type of mobile device management (MDM) plan, and this challenge is not simply for larger companies. SMBs must be prepared as well. Eric Lai from ZDNet points out the danger for smaller businesses. He says, “But in terms of who proportionally gets hit harder, a smaller firm could find itself crippled if a few hundred key customer details are compromised.”
If you’re a small business-owner with employees using their own devices in the workplace, you might consider looking at AirWatch offers support for managing a range of devices including Android, IOS, Blackberry, Windows, and Symbian. While many MDM solutions focus primarily on enterprise implementations, AirWatch offers support for small businesses, enterprise level, education and government. Some of the features, small businesses owners will appreciate include:
- Pay month-to-month for the number of active devices
- Leverage a cloud model to reduce costs and free up resources
- Increase efficiency by streamlining and automating IT tasks
- Gain visibility and control over all your mobile assets
- Increase employee satisfaction and reduce IT costs through BYOD
 “Do mobile devices in the workplace create security problems?” Help Net Security, May 10, 2012 <http://www.net-security.org/secworld.php?id=12903>
 Eric Lai. “Hey SMBs: Here’s An Affordable Mobile Device Management Option.” ZDNet, May 4, 2012 <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/sybase/hey-smbs-heres-an-affordable-mobile-device-management-option/3064>
The ability to give and receive payment with your smartphone is getting easier than ever before. Last week, PayPal introduced it’s new mobile credit card PayPal Here. PayPal is now competing in the smartphone market directly with Square and Inuit products designed for receiving payments.
PayPal, Square and Intuit are not alone. Eventbrite announced an “at the door” card reader that works like a mobile box office. More mobile payment systems have been announced and are in development like PayWare and Swiff.
Right now, it’s hard to know if consumers will gravitate toward one or two providers who will then set the standard in payment collection systems. But PayPal’s system has some advantages that may play a key role in its future success.
The key word is infrastructure. PayPal was slower to move into the smartphone payment collection market than Square, but it has not been sitting still. For the last several years, PayPal has laid an international infrastructure of relations with merchants and banking systems. CNNMoney highlights PayPal’s commitment to building a long-term and worldwide base:
No company has been working longer at this goal than PayPal. Back when people spoke less of the cloud and more about grid computing, and when mobile phones were too big to fit comfortably inside a pocket, PayPal was laying the foundation for a global e-payment system – working through regulatory processes in hundreds of countries, grappling with myriad forms of online fraud and fielding customer complaints.
PayPal already has a successful customer base online. While they have offended a few small business owners with their strong commitment to the customer, they’ve also established trust with customers. This trust is invaluable for expanding into a mobile market where security and trust are big issues.
PayPal established an effective model for collecting and distributing payments. Their model has burgeoned into a worldwide market that includes 9 million merchants and 106 million active customers. This translated into $4 billion in mobile payments in 2011, and is expected to reach $7 billion in 2012.
In the midst of this tremendous growth, PayPal acquired the payment system Bill Me Later, the app developers behind RedLaser, and the shopping engine Milo. Now with the introduction of PayPal Here, PayPal is positioned to be a pivotal service provider for both payment collection and payment distribution.
PayPal Here is currently only available for the iOS platform, but an Android version is promised soon. It is undercutting Square’s transaction fee by .05% at 2.7% per transaction. Business owners who sign up for PayPal Here will receive a blue triangular dongle that plugs into the iPhone for sliding credit cards. Additionally, the iPhone camera can also be used to scan cards and paper checks for payments to PayPal.
Motorola Mobility subsidiary 3LM released its comprehensive support software for enterprise Android applications today (October 10). Delivering device management and security solutions, 3LM gives IT the power to support smartphone and tablet Android users.
With the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets in the workplace, traditional IT support has been forced to change from rigid restrictions to developing solutions the tools and devices users need to perform their job.
Garner Research has suggested that consumerization of IT is one of the top trends impacting IT strategies and practices. They suggest, “Consumer behaviors will have the power to reshape how enterprise IT works; they will bring new and varied expectations for IT, which, at an enterprise IT level, must be recognized and developed.”
Android is a perfect example of this dramatic shift as more and more consumers are using Android smartphones and tablets at home but also in the workplace. At the same, there have been security concerns related to supporting the Android operating system. Alongside the trending use of Androids in the workplace, 3LM has been working in “stealth mode” with the goal of delivering enterprise level security. Motorola bought 3LM last February with the intention of delivering 3LM solutions to all handset manufacturers.
The 3LM technology will provide business and government entities with easy to use management, enterprise security and device security. 3LM secures data on the device as well as in transit from device to enterprise. IT managers can use 3LM tools to manage fleet devices remotely from adding software to wiping data.
- Works with existing IT infrastructure to administer users and devices
- Remote device management
- Remote application installation
- Full and selective remote wipe for devices
- Lock devices
- Locate devices
- Incorporate advanced password rules
Secure Enterprise Link
- Access enterprise resources and online resources securely.
- Secure credentials for device interaction with enterprise.
- Administrator controls security and access levels at enterprise.
- All communication between device and enterprise is encrypted.
- Secure channel delivery of critical information like email, calendar and contacts.
- Remote device health and status checking.
- Each device is identified by a unique IP address for tracking as a network endpoint.
- All data on device can be encrypted including internal memory as well as SD card storage.
- Anti-malware protects corporate users.