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The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is here. And far from being confined to smartphones, it’s morphed into something analysts are calling BYOx: ‘Bring Your Own Everything’.

Anthon Muller, Executive Head of Managed Enterprise Mobility at Vodacom, says 'the bottom-line is that tablets and smartphones are standard business tools as well as employees bring their own equipment into organisations, both for work and for personal purposes. 'This is already the reality in 2016, so the crucial part is how organisations are is reacting or controlling this situation to manage security.'

Proliferation of devices

And with this proliferation of devices within the workplace, CIOs and IT management are being faced with certain challenges. But, there’s the added benefit in that 'implementing BYOD also helps with costs, because organisations are effectively passing on the hardware costs to the employee, but are giving them access to the network,' allowing them to be productive.

The conversation has shifted to how organisations enable and embrace BYOx and, more importantly, how they 'address the key security and management risks inherent in this trend.'

Traditional mobile device management (MDM) platforms have been confined to supporting a single operating system, or a single device manufacturer (OEM). They’ve also typically required some sort of on-premise hardware. Not anymore.

For one, MDM has become only one component of enterprise mobility management (EMM). And next-generation solutions support any devices, across all major operating systems.

The reality is that employees are already using devices for both work and personal purposes.

Vodacom Secure Device Manager

Vodacom Secure Device Manager (VSDM) is a secure, cloud-hosted solution that 'caters for BYOx, mobile- and flexible-working and it helps mitigate threats, from a security point of view,' explains Muller. It runs on the AirWatch platform which, because of its comprehensive functionality and flexibility, appears most frequently in Gartner clients’ vendo

Security threat level rising

Because people use their smart and mobile devices every day, they 'tend to think there is no security risk,' says Muller. Yet, the security threat is real. Fifty-eight percent of businesses say the risk of cyber attack is 'a significant issue with major implications', while 13% of large enterprises have experienced 50 or more security incidents in the past year.

'Devices get stolen and are lost,' continues Muller. 'And there’s the issue of securing information too.' VSDM eliminates these risks within organisations

Flexible solutions when you need it

It gets down to the question of 'what you allow to be on the device,' he continues. The VDSM platform allows businesses to also, for example, 'manage and restrict which emails can and can’t be forwarded, and helps prevents the distribution of content outside of the organisation.'

In addition, by using containerisation, this solution allows organisations to deploy specific apps securely into containers on smartphones and tablets, and caters for app-wrapping in iOS and Android which adds security to existing applications. Beyond these enhancements to app security, VSDM integrates with the iOS App Store and Google Play Store to allow enterprises to create custom app catalogues.

Muller says Vodacom Business 'looked at the traditional way of licensing and we moved away from an annual licence. We looked at how our enterprise customers buy services, and it’s traditionally on a value-added service basis.

'Customers want to use this service when they need it. If they don’t need it, they want to terminate it … People move, people resign and they sit with vacant licensing that’s obsolete.'

Vodacom Secure Device Manager offering

There are six different Vodacom Secure Device Manager bundles, from a basic licence to a platinum one. With this flexibility, says Muller, companies can 'split their implementation and have some employees on a basic licence, some on a mid-level licence and executives on a top-end licence'.

And because it’s a cloud-based solution, deployment is immediate. Logins to the web-based admin portal are made available and a basic implementation of the solution can be complete in under an hour.

CIOs and IT managers 'cannot say "we’re not going to ‘do’ BYOD" … we are beyond that phase,' says Muller.

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