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BYOD and Mobile Security Solutions

An exclusive Q&A with Milja Gillespie, Director of Product Marketing, Mobile Security, SAP

"We see many companies looking to adopt BYOD strategies for employees, but few who are solely BYOD," observed Milja Gillespie, Director of Product Marketing, Mobile Security, SAP, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Computing Journal. "Often, they offer corporate devices for certain types of workers for whom mobility is a core function and BYOD for others who may want to access business resources on a personal device but don't require it for productivity purposes."

Cloud Computing Journal: Describe for us a bit the recent growth of mobile, and the projected growth over the next few years.

Milja Gillespie: According to a recent Infonetics Research survey, respondent organizations reportedly averaged approximately 9,000 devices on their networks, which is expected to grow to 20 percent by 2015, and about 2/3 of those enterprises surveyed allow their employees to bring their own devices into work and connect to the company networks today.

Cloud Computing Journal: How much BYOD vs. company-provisioned devices is there, that is, are companies still trying to provision devices in the face of this massive swing to BYOD?

Gillespie: We see many companies looking to adopt BYOD strategies for employees, but few who are solely BYOD. Often, they offer corporate devices for certain types of workers for whom mobility is a core function and BYOD for others who may want to access business resources on a personal device but don't require it for productivity purposes. In either case, we are seeing the vast majority of companies deploy MDM solutions on both managed and unmanaged devices. In the case where companies support BYOD for their extended enterprise, they are looking at alternative solutions like app wrapping to provide app-level security on unmanaged devices.

Cloud Computing Journal: In the "old" days, RIM provided enterprise-grade security with BlackBerry. This went out the window with the other platforms. So how does SAP fill this gap, to ensure that enterprises have the security they need for all mobile devices?

Gillespie: SAP provides a full portfolio of mobile security solutions to address the needs of any enterprise. The SAP Mobile Secure portfolio includes mobile device management, mobile app security and mobile content management capabilities to fill the gap. We are continuing to see growth of Android and iOS devices in our customer base.

Cloud Computing Journal: What unique challenges do enterprises that do significant international business face, and how does SAP address these challenges for its customers?

Gillespie: As a very large global company operating around the world, SAP is very familiar with the challenges international businesses face. In our own BYOD deployment in 20+ countries, we have dealt with the varying legal implications of adopting BYOD in countries with strict privacy requirements. SAP addresses these issues by offering our cloud-based mobile security solutions in almost every country in the world and by providing guidance via our expert IT consulting team. In addition, for companies looking to embrace BYOD, we created a BYOD Policy Guidebook that shares SAP Global IT's experience in international rollouts.

Cloud Computing Journal: As a large company with well over 60,000 employees of its own, SAP must deal with BYOD issues on a large scale. How do you use the CounterACT and Afaria solutions internally for your BYOD challenges?

Gillespie: SAP Global IT relies on SAP Afaria to manage over 55,000 mobile devices for its internal employees. The company also uses ForeScout CounterACT for network management. The two solutions work well together to accelerate the provisioning, administration and security of data and devices and to ensure that unmanaged devices are not allowed access to the SAP network.

Cloud Computing Journal: Where do you see leadership coming from within enterprises when it comes to successfully deploying a BYOD strategy? The CEO? CIO? Entire C-Suite?

Gillespie: Successful adoption of BYOD is achieved when all lines of business collaborate smoothly. Ensuring that you have senior-level executive buy-in is a critical aspect of your BYOD program. Before beginning, ensure that you have full support from all lines of business. Often, the first stakeholder you should connect with when defining your BYOD plan is the legal department. The IT department typically handles the bulk of the management of a BYOD implementation. HR can act as a central awareness channel with employees. The finance department is interested in ensuring that costs do not escalate. You should rely on your executives to communicate the program to employees.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

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