With the bring your own device (BYOD) trend catching on within offices everywhere, businesses are thinking about how to integrate their employees’ devices into their workplaces.

The question is, how do you manage the data without just securing those devices? At least, that’s how Jesus Rodriguez, CEO and co-founder of KidoZen Inc., sees it. Rodriguez was speaking from a session at the Mobile Enterprise Strategies Summit on Thursday.

“When we look at the industry and how we got here with BYOD, we think about how we need to manage the devices,” Rodriguez said. “These days, everyone has a way to secure the devices. That’s off the chart.”

Mobile device management is something we can stop worrying about since that’s been done and is now even passé, he said. Right now, startups are moving into mobile app management, with industry heavyweights sitting up and taking notice.

“The golden days of managed devices are over,” Rodriguez said, adding companies will now start looking at the next logical step, which is to manage those apps on those devices. Companies like AirWatch Inc. and Citrix Systems Inc. have already begun launching app containers and other kinds of ways to prevent corporate data from leaking out of an employee’s device, in case it is lost or stolen. He sees mobile app management as already a fixture of mobile device management platforms.

While that’s all really interesting, even this will have its heyday, Rodriguez said.

The next company to create a real game changer will be one that looks at data as the real problem. As we begin to see more and more advances in mobile technology, we’ll be able to drill down and keep a tighter hold on mobile data, he says.

“There’s a direct correlation between mobile maturity and the level of granularity in mobile solutions,” he said. “The level of granularity gets smaller and smaller. It wasn’t a problem before, but now it’s a huge issue.”

Essentially, we are now at a race to see which company can act as a middleman to enable the management and security of not just mobile devices or mobile apps, but mobile data. He called mobile data management the “crown jewel” of the enterprise mobile management industry.

When we’re able to manage our data, instead of just our devices or apps, we will get sophisticated enough to be able to create mobile-first policies for all kinds of situations.

“For mobile data management, if you can apply management policies at the data level, all apps would be compliant, and all devices would be compliant,” Rodriguez said.

For example, we might have a geolocation-based policy, a device-based policy, a network-based policy, an app-based policy, and so on. If an employee travels to the U.S., they might not be able to access their SAP app outside of Canada, for example, showcasing a geolocation app, Rodriguez said. Or we might get an employee who can’t access Salesforce by using a jailbroken iPhone, according to a device-based policy.

What we’re really looking for, he added, is a mobile device management, mobile app management, and mobile data management in an end-to-end solution. Shifting the balance between what we are trying to protect, Rodriguez said, will shift the balance of how the mobile data protection game is played.

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  • Adam Greenblum

    One option for securing BYOD is to use virtualization and HTML5 technologies to keep data and applications separate from personal devices. For example, Ericom AccessNow is an HTML5 RDP client that enables users to connect from most types of devices to any RDP hosts (such as VDI virtual desktops or Windows Remote Desktop Services) and run full Windows desktops or applications in a browser tab.

    There’s nothing to install on the end user devices, as you only need an HTML5-compatible browser. That protects corporate data by keeping it off the device, and also reduces IT support costs, since IT staff don’t need to spend time installing software on so many different platforms. All they need to do is give employees a URL and login credentials.

    For an online, interactive demo visit: http://www.ericom.com/demo_AccessNow.asp?URL_ID=708

    Please note that I work for Ericom