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Balancing Mobile Device Management with User Acceptance: The Android Advantage

By Phil Hochmuth, Program Director, Enterprise Mobility, IDC

Quick quiz question: What’s the top reason why mobile devices used in business are not enrolled in enterprise mobility management platforms? Answer: User resistance. According to a recent IDC survey, 45% of companies said mobile devices weren’t enrolled in the organization’s enterprise mobility management system because end users didn’t want their personal devices managed by it.

Any mobile platform is only useful to a business relative to the level of adoption, user acceptance, and use of the technology. To transform how business and workforce operate with mobile technologies, enterprise IT must find the balance between strong, secure device management, policy enforcement, and user acceptance.

To address this issue, Android for enterprise provides strong separation of personal and work data, where personal and work profiles coexist. Enterprises can provision, control and secure an end-user’s work profile easily; the work profile contains all managed apps provisioned, secured and controlled by the business. These are easily identifiable as work related apps and notifications are labelled with a briefcase icon. Work and personal apps can be arranged in any way according to user’s preference within the launcher. Personal app data remains separate from work app data and can’t be accessed by the company on BYOD devices.

For large-scale deployments, Android zero-touch enrollment allows smartphones and tablets to be automatically provisioned out of the box (e.g., EMM enrollment) without IT staff having to physically handle the devices. Apps are not required to be wrapped or run through an SDK for adding additional security controls and management hooks. This frees time and resources of IT teams and app developers to focus on more productive and business-centric tasks.

Navigating and downloading apps from managed Google Play is much like the consumer-focused Play Store experience. Android users don’t need special instructions on how to find or download new apps required for business. Enterprises can also easily mix private applications and off-the-shelf apps in this environment. This is a critical feature for businesses, as the distribution of custom apps is still a challenge for over one-third of enterprises—even when they have an EMM solution in place. For enterprises using EMM, managed Google Play can simplify distribution of apps onto employees’ devices.

For a closer look at how the Android platform balances enterprise app management with user acceptance, we invite you to download the IDC whitepaper, “Achieving Mobility Management Balance with Android,” sponsored by Google.

This blog is part of a series covering the three key pillars of technology consideration for an enterprise mobile operating system. Starting with an overview of the Android mobile operating system, the series dives into mobile security, solution breadth and platform flexibility and availability, and management/administration functionality in the context of modern mobile workers’ attitudes around control, privacy, and ease-of-use.