Mobile computing has proven to be a game changer, revolutionizing the way we work, communicate and connect. Arguably, this revolution can trace its roots back to the ‘Personal Computer’, which freed individuals and organizations from the centralized mainframe operating model and we haven’t looked back since then. But what’s remarkable about mobile computing is the unprecedented pace of change and innovation it has brought about. Mobile devices are penetrating and transforming businesses today far faster than any previous generations of computing technologies ,including laptops and desktops.
Today, "going mobile" means a lot more than just modifying the content to fit a browser on a small screen size. Infrastructures can no longer afford to limit remote or mobile access to browser-based functionality. Users need access to more applications and data, from a wider variety of mobile and wireless devices.
Mobile device capabilities have reached new heights, which in turn has spurred demand for rich mobile applications that require access to private enterprise data in order to deliver functionality. These applications have become indispensable tools for end users. They are being inextricably woven into day-to-day business operations in an effort to improve productivity. In spite of the complexity, these devices are becoming a critical component of the computing environment because of their versatility.
Perhaps the single biggest driver of the mobile revolution has been the widespread adoption of “Bring Your Own Device” or “BYOD.” BYOD is the policy of permitting – or even encouraging – employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets and smart phones) to their workplace, and to use those devices to access privileged company information and applications. Seemingly overnight, BYOD has supplanted the traditional policy of permitting only “corporate-liable” or “CL” devices, those that are owned and issued by the company.
The Benefits of BYOD
BYOD fosters business process efficiency by allowing employees to complete their tasks at any time and from anywhere – whether they are sales representatives, technical analysts in the field, customer-facing employees, manufacturing reps and the like. Every one of these employees needs access to data, which can enable them to make the right decisions, answer queries, come up with proposals, close deals and execute other vital tasks.
The benefits of BYOD include:
Improved workplace flexibility and productivity with secure "anytime, anywhere" access for employees. It promotes employee satisfaction. It also increases effective employee work hours in small increments per week, which in turn translates to a greater throughput from the workforce.
Increased sales revenues from quick, reliable access to business-generating applications on employee-owned devices.
Imminent Challenges and Risks
It's not too difficult to lose a smart phone or tablet, resulting in confidential data being exposed to non trusted entities. Thus, accessing and storing corporate data on private devices presents unique security challenges to the enterprise.The IT security team and the CIO office are now dealing with questions such as:
Do our enterprise applications qualify as “secure” and “cloud ready”?
There are four primary areas that are putting consumers and enterprises at risk on mobile platforms:
Identity and Access Management to the Rescue
Luckily, corporations facing these risks and challenges don’t have to go it alone. The field of Identity and Access Management (IAM) has evolved just as rapidly with solutions designed to address key aspects of BYOD adoption:
IAM solution providers, including our company, Simeio Solutions, have seen tremendous growth in these areas, with new tools, technologies, methodologies and best practices designed to help organizations adopt BYOD securely and effectively.
The need of the hour is seamless and secure digital connectivity for cloud and mobile integration in order for BYOD to prosper.
Here is where a product like Oracle Mobile and Social Access Management comes into the picture. Oracle Mobile and Social Access Management is a solution which enables an organization to secure mobile access to their enterprise applications. It includes a server which acts as a “secure wall” between external mobile client applications and the enterprise applications and data stores (which the mobile applications eventually access) by leveraging the existing back end identity infra services in order to regulate the interaction between both entities.
Oracle Mobile and Social Access Management Offerings
The Oracle Mobile and Social Access Management solution includes features in each of the following key areas: MDM, MIM and MAM.
Mobile Device Management
Mobile Identity Management
Leveraging Social Identities
Mobile Application Management
Oracle Mobile and Social Access: The Big Picture
Mobile computing is here to stay. Along with its many luxuries, its penetration has introduced new complexities and challenges to organizations. They cannot afford to fall back on user awareness and user agreements to provide security. The question is no longer about allowing or denying mobile access. The question for today is about effective management.
This post is just the first in a 4-part blog series. In our next post, we’ll have in-depth coverage of Mobile Device Management (MDM).
About the Author
Abhishek Gupta is a Senior IAM Engineer at Simeio Solutions. He has over 5 years of experience in the IAM space and has been involved in design, development and implementation of IAM solutions for Simeio's customers with a prime focus on Oracle IAM Suite.