Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

Summary: Business Appleization is a reality, whether or not Apple or your company is on board with it. Find out how to manage it before your worst fears come true.

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Apple itself didn't predict this mass uptake of its products and technology in the Enterprise (Consumerization) but it's happening without Apple's permission or foresight. Apple's products are without question, consumer-oriented. But, they're so good and people love them so much that the impact to the Enterprise can't be ignored. The Appleization of the Enterprise, and businesses of all sizes, is the current trend and companies need to face this trend with open eyes and good tools. Open eyes and good tools don't imply a new type of business dysfunction, quite the contrary, they imply a new way to accept the phenomena without the associated risks.

Perhaps the most compelling argument against bringing your own device (BYOD) is the security risks associated with allowing rogue devices onto your network. There is a risk of allowing any device to have access to your network resources regardless of origin. In other words, corporate-owned devices are no more or less secure than individually-owned ones. That is one of the great myths of the whole consumerization trend.

Part of the overall BYOD dilemma isn't necessarily the ever popular security issues surrounding BYOD but rather the problem of how to manage an array of devices that you could encounter. As much as I'd like to believe that Apple devices are the only ones that individuals will buy for themselves, I know that's not the case. The largest percentage will be Apple but there will also be a number of Windows-based ones, a few Android entries and, if you can read this without retching, Blackberry will also show its ugliness in your midst. You have to be able to accept and manage them all with confidence and grace.

Leaning on conventional technologies won't gain you any ground in the Appleization of your business. You'll have to purchase new mobile device management (MDM) software and other software for managing the innate incompatibility between technologies. Although the Mac OS is now FreeBSD-based, its filetypes and extended permissions create problems when storing files on your Windows-based servers. Fortunately, software exists to handle those file incompatibilities.

Eventually, businesses that allow BYOD will have to come to the realization of user management instead of device management. Device management is the incorrect direction for businesses to focus on. Let the MDM software vendors worry about device support and you worry about user management. That's what you're really managing, the user, not the device. And, that's the way it should be.

Reality, not rose-colored glasses is what you need when you look at BYOD for your company, regardless of size or complexity. I had the pleasure of speaking with Anders Lofgren, GroupLogic's VP Marketing and Product Management, a few days ago on this very subject. His company's software integrates with Active Directory and MDM software products from Good Technology and MobileIron. With GroupLogic's software products, your Apple devices integrate seamlessly and flawlessly with your Windows-based servers and services.

"User management is key to a successful BYOD implementation," said GroupLogic's Anders Lofgren, "You have to manage the user in the same way that you do for other network resources."

Lofgren's words were true food for thought. If you manage the user, you're doing exactly what you've been doing for years. User management, and by extension, group management gives you the same control and power that you're looking for when dealing with user-owned devices. The ability to manage users and their devices, regardless of origin, gives the IT department back the control that they thought they were losing with this whole "BYOD thing."

"Enterprise File Sharing - Solutions that work," goes the GroupLogic tagline but what it implies is greater still. It means that, at least for your Apple devices, you have complete file and access compatibility between those user devices and your Windows servers.

So, really, there are no more legitimate excuses with vendors like GroupLogic, Good Technology and Mobile Iron that provide secure, compatible access for user-owned devices. And, since you're managing the user and group, you don't ever have to physically touch the device to allow or disallow access. Furthermore, using remote wipe services, lost, stolen or dismissed devices won't carry corporate data nor will they even have access to the remote network.

If you're still not convinced that the Appleization of the Enterprise is a wonderful thing, I suggest that you take these products for a test drive and see for yourself. Whether or not you like it, BYOD is happening at your company and it makes sense to manage it rather than to battle it.

Talk back and let me know what you think of the Appleization of the Enterprise. Are you ready for an Apple-centered, more user-oriented workplace? Or, do you plan to kick it old school for another decade or so?

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Consumerization, Operating Systems, Servers, Software, Windows

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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29 comments
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  • LOL!

    Appleization of the Enterprise? BYOD? LOL!

    Not sure who you think is running the company, but we don't have to make allowences for an iPad (or whatever) becuase someone wants to use it. What are they going to do, quit?
    IU's not like it makes them more productive at their job, so why go thriugh the hassle?
    If it's not secure, it's not in our eneterprise.

    End Of Story.
    William Farrel
    • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

      @William Farrel

      That is the prevailing attitude, however that attitude changes when your CXOs bring theirs in and want to use them.
      khess
      • Limited Arena

        @khess

        The only place I'm seeing these is former RIM Space.
        Period.

        PC world? Nope.
        rhonin
      • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

        @khess I agree with Rhonin, the only place we allow this is with an App for Collaboration on their iPhone or Android Phone.

        IF, and that is a big IF (Literally, look at the size of that IF =D), Apple iPads, Asus Transformer Prime, or some other Embedded System ends up in our Office, on our Network, then it will be our company that rolls it out!

        Here's what you don't understand and why you think this is actually a reality... We have laws in this country that would not allow that type of loose security with data of other people! Financial and Health laws pretty much kill this for a large part of the US Corporations!

        So, you see it is one thing to allow email, task and calendar support or even a few documents but, it is totally different when it comes to patient care systems or financial systems. There are other areas where laws apply as well and that right there kills this.
        slickjim
      • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

        @Peter Perry<br>Just a few years ago, most Enterprises didn't want to hear about any other smartphone not carrying the BlackBerry symbol. Today many are accepting employees bring their own iOS/Android device and actually use it for work. This wasn't done out of the goodness of their hearts but mostly as a cost cutting measure.<br>Now how long do you think it will be 'till those same Enterprises, many of then still running XP, will take a look at the costs of upgrading and suddenly have a change of heart?
        MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
      • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

        @khess

        Enabling a handful of noisy executives and iOS as a corporate standard are vastly different scopes.

        The issue is once you give them email / PIM access (via EAS or a MDM) they want intranet access, file share access, SharePoint access. All while ignoring the DLP process you have established.
        MobileAdmin
      • The IT priesthood has arrived in full force

        It's sad to see it when IT people lie so blatantly in order to defend the IT nerd's sacred role as technology gatekeeper. Listen to yourselves:<br><br>"... we don't have to make allowances ..."<br>"... only place we allow this ..."<br>"... noisy executives ..."<br>"... once you give them <i>x</i> they want <i>y</i> ..."<br><br>All the typical IT condescension bulls--t.<br><br>Hey IT: F--k you! You're a cost center. And an increasingly irrelevant one at that. <br><br>You see it in the knee jerk "no". You see it in the cowardice of hiding behind process and shouting "Security!" like Chicken Little. You see it in the complete inability to think about enabling technology as anything more than being able to repeatedly churn out half-baked Windows XP images.<br><br>Wake up. People in Bangalor are saying "yes" and taking your jobs from you.
        RationalGuy
      • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

        @khess

        I don't think so. Any competent CIO would not bring in their own device and want to plug it into their corporate network. And even if they did there are ways to inhibit that anyway
        MLHACK
      • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

        @RationalGuy<br><br>Quite an ironic username given your rant. Security is a problem for the whole company, not just IT. You do have laws that forbid you to be blaise about peoples data. It's as simple as that. Dependent on what sector your in, your company could be stopped trading by business partners if you don't have a secure network. <br><br>It's all very well saying "you IT nerds spoiling our fun". Business is not about fun. It's about calculated risks and delivering efficiences that increase the profit. It's not about kicking and stamping your feet and coming out with puerile remarks because the nasty man won't let you add your shiny new toy to the network. Because, duh, he could lose not only his job, but his freedom if found to be criminally negligent with regards to customer data. <br><br>Do you follow that?
        Bozzer
    • Perhaps but do you speak for all?

      @William Farrel ... I suspect not. Different strokes for different folks as they say.

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
    • Let's see what you say when it's the CTO doing the asking.

      @William Farrel The Appleization of the Windows-only financial services software company I work for started from the top down. iPhones then iPads went from C-level to GA for everyone in less than a year.
      matthew_maurice
      • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

        @matthew_maurice But tell the truth, were these BYOD Devices?
        slickjim
  • WOW

    Really?
    Working with a lot of big companies I am seeing Apple and Android taking over the previous RIM - Space... that's about it.

    BYOD - not happening EXCEPT at the former RIM Space level.
    MAC devices? Single source your IT supply chain and change it over.... not happening.

    Good article - not seeing it.
    rhonin
    • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

      @rhonin

      What are you afraid of? It's just a computational device.
      kenosha77a
      • He's afraid of his IT position being made irrelevant.

        It's all about protecting his job.
        baggins_z
  • Taking data off the mainframe is too dangerous! No PCs here!

    Anybody remember Bradley Manning? He's the guy who leaked some 250,000 secret documents and gave them to Wikileaks.

    Nothing you do with your devices is going to stop your currently-authorized but disgruntled employee from totally hosing you, if that's what he wants to do.

    Like the article says: manage the users, not the devices.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

      @Robert Hahn Bull! Your system people are lacking if that's the case! Sure, they might remember some information that could hurt a few people but we don't even allow 90% of our company to send E-Mail Internally, let alone externally (it is nothing more than delivering a message to them). <br><br>Also, we lock down the desktop entirely, they can't see the drive and it is double encrypted! The USB Ports are shutdown and even Burning is shutdown in case by some odd chance somebody accidentally received the burner in their system. Also, we Encrypt both wired and wireless as well as block all access to the Internet to 90% of them (with the exception of break room kiosks).<br><br>Those are just a few things and if you think you can't lock down a machine effectively enough to block people from stealing you're info then you're wrong. <br><br>Oh and Cell Phones, not allowed! <br><br>Now, I will say that you do have to manage your people but it isn't just the people but the whole system you have to watch and that includes the people!
      slickjim
  • You have to both..

    It is terribly naive to assume that managing the device itself is not important. Just because BYOD is happening, doesn't mean it is good for the business. Does BYOD actually make your users more productive? Does it save the company on hardware, software and manpower resources? I don't think there is a definitive answer to any of those questions, but quite plain and simple, those are what is important.

    If you have never worked in IT then you can never understand that while it is nice to blog about these things, implementing solutions are a massive pain. This is why companies standardized on platforms to begin with.

    My CFO gave me the rant about supporting his iPad to read his mail, and when i walked him through what it would take for us to implement a solution, and the inherent risks of not being able to use current tools to encrypt the drives/data and sync everything, he backed down.

    Except fro possibly some niche cases, no one has been able to convince me that using any tablet at work makes them more productive. A Windows laptop, managed by IT with a full keyboard, 15 inch screen and all the software we require (not apps or games) will keep most workers much more productive.
    omdguy
    • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

      @omdguy

      There's nothing wrong with using an iPad to read mail. You don't have to do all that mumbo jumbo to use mail. The days of IT being the "No" group are gone. If I had been your CFO, I would have said, "Make it so or hit Monster.com in search of another employer."
      khess
      • RE: Appleization and the Apple-centered Appleprise

        @khess
        Actually most of us IT folks don't mind to have these iToys laying around for us to play, as the nature of us we always love to learn new things. Believe it or not, most of us are not control freaks but trying to empower users with the right tools. What you failed to understand is when we say "NO", we usually have a very good reason behind it. It could be security/perimeter issue, or compliancy regulation implications. If those CFOs failed to see it, there is a very good chance that they don't fully understand how IT and security works and I wouldn't be surprised it will eventually lead to security breach of the company and even possibly going under with it.
        Samic