4 Mobile Security Predictions to Help CIOs Plan for the Future

Few IT issues keep CIOs up at night the way mobile and BYOD do. Four mobile security trends will bring CIOs both restful nights and new challenges in 2013, says Forrester Research.

Mon, April 15, 2013
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Mobile Prediction 2: Seamless, On-Demand Mobile 'Virtualization' Will Overtake MDM

Many organizations that embrace (or at least accept) BYOD have turned to mobile device management (MDM) technologies to help them enforce corporate policies on users' devices. But MDM is often considered a heavy-handed approach, and Wang says more and more IT professionals just don't want to manage employee-owned devices.

This has resulted in the rise of mobile VDI, containers, app wrapping and device virtualization as alternative methods to segregate personal data from corporate data on a personally owned device. The downside, of course, is that these methods often adversely affect the user experience, creating a barrier to adoption. But advances in mobile virtualization technology are likely to turn that around in 2013.

"In 2012, we started to see glimpses of technologies that could eventually lead to seamless "mobile virtualization" wherein policy-based control over corporate apps (and consequently content and data) is enforced on-demand and with little interference to user experience," Wang says. "Some examples include VMware's device virtualization technology and exciting options from innovators such as Enterproid and MobileSpaces."

Wang says that these technologies remain at an early stage today, but show great potential to completely change how enterprises approach mobility if they can fulfill their promise to dynamically insert policies in flight without changing the app first.

"Key to making mobile virtualization work are whole-app workflows and mashups that are easily controllable," she says. "We're excited to see technologies that extend policy controls to an entire workflow of apps, so that any app invoked by the corporate app is treated with the same policy, as opposed to wrapping and containing a standalone app. This capability will help preserve user experience and further enable mobilization of enterprise resources. Ultimately, technology innovations in this area may render BYOD a nonissue."

Mobile Prediction 3: HTML5 Enterprise Apps Will Proliferate

Wang says that HTML5 apps, rather than native apps, will become the preferred way of delivering enterprise apps. The argument goes like this: Efforts by the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to free up additional wireless spectrum will begin to bear fruit in late 2013. That means cheaper and more reliable connectivity. As connectivity becomes more pervasive, Wang says online rather than offline communications models will become the norm.

"This paves the way for more HTML5 deliveries," Wang says. "HTML5 applications are attractive for a number of reasons, the chief being simpler and cheaper development and maintenance costs. Native apps will still take the spotlight in the consumer market, but for enterprise apps, we will see an acceleration of HTML5 development efforts in 2013 and beyond."

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