Good G*d. It’s been ages since I have written anything here. Candidly, my professional and personal lives have been chaotic and are only going to get more so. Oh well…this is what most people call good problems. In any case, let me cut to the chase. I want to talk today about mobile containerization. While I have shared some opinions in the past on this subject, it’s obvious that the market for containerization solutions has increased and evolved aggressively.
As you might know, enterprise mobility management solution providers who offer “containerized” solutions are looking to offer secure alternatives to the native email, calendar and browser solutions available on the mobile devices. These native solutions are considered unsecure for enterprise usage…and while mobile device management solutions can help address these issues, the ONLY way to TRULY provide secure connections to your email, calendar, contact, web and corporate applications is to do so via a container.
Well…as with most things in mobility, it depends.
Let’s be clear. I get BYOD…because it drives me nuts. I get COPE….well, because I created the concept. I understand the need to secure and protect corporate information all the while letting individuals use their mobile devices for their personal needs and enjoyment.
But what about “legacy” desktop (a.k.a. laptop) use cases. Have you ever installed an application on your corporate laptop without corporate approval? If you have an iPhone, I think you have. Have you ever downloaded and INSTALLED an alternative browser because the conferencing system you were trying to use did not work properly with your corporate browser? Never. Have you ever had your corporate email go down and you needed to send a file and therefore you used your personal email address to send the file?
Of course you haven’t. Never ever. Ever. By the way, have you ever checked your email via Outlook Web Access on a PC you or your company didn’t own? Of course you haven’t.
So. Now that we recognize that in the PC world, we will in fact download apps that are not 100% for work and we will IN FACT use them for work and that sometimes we have no choice but use them for work…and that we can use non corporate devices for work….
Why does this not apply to mobility?
Why do we need secure 3rd party email clients that prevent forwarding? Why do we need secure web browsers? Why do I need to replicate the functionality that is provided natively by the operating system just to “secure” things?
Isn’t Microsoft Outlook considered a safe and secure client for mobile email (at least on your laptop)? If you are a M$FT basher, I don’t want to hear it. Outlook is the De Facto corporate standard. Get over it. If somehow the native email clients on mobile devices aren’t good enough, then why hasn’t Microsoft delivered a more “robust” version of Outlook for said mobile devices? Maybe they should. By the way, Microsoft could destroy the market by making it free – as long as you have an Exchange CAL.
So what about “Secure Browser” – I get the need for secure connections, but not all browsers run off of a VPN. Besides, I will argue that 99.99% of HTTP connections are not secure…and the world has not come to an end. So why is “Secure Browsing” so important? Why can’t I use HTTPS? That’s what we do on desktops – no? What about InPrivate browsing?
Has the enterprise mobility world created solutions in the search of problems that may not be as real as they seem?
I don’t know. The title of this missive is not to be challenging, but truly to better inform me. I know a lot of companies are either developing or considering or deploying mobile container solutions. Are they just solving problems that are made up by vendors or is this something real that I am missing?