A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my experience of participating in a TweetChat on the Consumerization of IT as a prelude to the CITE event in San Francisco in the beginning of March (4-6 to be precise). Well, today we had another one of these sessions. I was just telling someone that I thought it was a great style of “event.” It’s real-time, brings people from all across the world together, and unbelievably interactive…and the kicker? It’s 100% free. You gotta love it.
The one thing that did come out of the 1st TweetChat was that I felt compelled to write a missive regarding the need to better understand The Difference Between The Consumerization of IT and BYOD. It seems as if I feel compelled yet again to clear up some confusion that arose from today’s chat. Today’s chat was all about tablets in the enterprise. I expected the conversation to be focused primarily on the use of the devices in the workplace, as well as talk about the kinds of applications that people are using for their work on those shiny tablets (or should I say iPads). Instead, the conversation very quickly shifted to talking about securing the applications on those devices, with the added nuance around managing BYOD vs. COPE based tablets.
There were some very interesting comments during the session. In fact, one of the members of the chat session made (in my opinion) a particularly astute comment:
The difference in security on a tablet vs another device is misleading it’s all about the data
I think he’s dead on.
The problem is that another member of the chat session made a comment eluding to the fact that the solution was to deploy a MDM solution and then another person added:
I would think MAM and MIM would be wrapped into MDM
Now you (hopefully) understand why I am writing today’s missive. So first of all, what the heck is MIM? MIM stands for Mobile Information Management. This is something I brought up about 18 months ago, but didn’t seem to catch on at the time. Maybe the time is now.
In any case, today’s missive is to (yet again) help you all understand that Mobile Device Management is not the right term when you want to think about the totality of managing mobile implementations in the work place. I don’t care if you’re talking about Consumerization of IT, BYOD or COPE, Individual Liable, Corporate Liable or whatever.
MDM is simply not the right term to use. What you want to do is think instead about enterprise mobility management. The Enterprise Mobility Foundation also has documents here and here that help you understand the distinction between MDM and EMM.
Now don’t get me wrong, MDM (as I have said countless times) is vital to the success of effectively managing mobility in the workplace (some will disagree with me), but MDM is about the DEVICE. It’s NOT about the applications and it is certainly not about the data on the devices.
You want to manage the deployment of applications to your workforce? Great. That’s why you need a tool with Mobile Application Management capabilities. That’s why “MDM” vendors have been moving so quickly to add Mobile Application Management capabilities onto their solutions…but to call that MDM does us collectively a disservice as it only obfuscates the conversation (as evidenced today).
So back to MIM. This is the future people. We are all talking today about the “data.” “The data is what’s important.”
That’s why I think that once we have properly tackled mobile application management (which I think will happen this year BTW from a technology perspective), I think the one last thing we’ll need to do is find a way to most effectively manage the data that is passing through these mobile devices. This, I think, will be trickiest part of all, but could potentially put to rest all the issues around questioning how to manage corporate security and policy depending upon who owns the mobile device.