Admittedly, unless you’re a wannabe Thespian, that was a pretty horrible title for a missive. That said, I do feel as if it does a pretty good job of summarizing what seems to be the next great Topic du Jour – or at the very least, the latest idea to battle the “Voldemort of Enterprise Mobility.”
While they may be a “new-ish” topic, containers for mobility are by no means a new concept. Heck, some companies have been selling – with varying degrees of success – containers for PIM (i.e., email, contacts and calendar) for years.
But as we continue to open up the can of worms of that Four-Letter acronym that I just can’t seem to say anymore, I can’t help but wonder if some containers make more sense than others. I’m saying this because it seems as if there are new solutions emerging every day to put “stuff” into a container. But does it make sense to do that? Let’s go through some scenarios:
- Containerize the entire OS: One could argue that it’s a “blunt instrument,” but there’s an equally valid argument that it’s the simplest way to implement that dual persona concept. One side of the device is for personal stuff, and one side is for work. You can’t really get simpler than that.
- Containerize the email: Honestly, this one has always been a head scratcher. Why would you want a 2nd email client, and a 2nd contact list or a 2nd calendar when the one that your mobile device provided you is perfectly adequate? What’s more, there’s a trend of INTEGRATING all your calendars, contacts and calendars into ONE view (because you are ONE person) – so why would you try to block this trend?
- Containerize your documents: This one makes perfect sense to me. It’s nothing but a (very intelligent) folder for your corporate files. The “folder” wraps the totality of all your work documents and protects the data by potentially preventing you from copying/forwarding/sharing the files unless the permissions have been set by someone else. Makes perfect sense to me.
- Containerize your apps: On the flip side, this one is as much of a head scratcher as is an email container. Why would I want ONE container for ALL my apps? That’s like saying I just need to have one VPN port available. Besides, you can wrap apps individually and give them the individual policies and access rights for that added level on granularity.
- Containerize your device: It’s called a bumper or cover. I add this one only in gest because of people who seem to crack their device’s screens on a regular basis. I’m looking at you EMF member…
So what do you think about containers for enterprise mobility? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons of each one.