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Virtualization Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Justin Marston, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Security Journal, Virtualization Expo, Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms

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Top Five Reasons to Deploy a Virtual Mobile Infrastructure | @ThingsExpo #IoT

Securing BYOD

Despite the kicking and screaming from IT departments, organizations have largely resigned themselves to the fact that BYOD is here to stay. Whether the flavor is iPhone, Android or Windows, employees are bringing their favorite devices to work en masse with little regard for larger security and compliance concerns.

Sanctioned or not, now it's up to IT to secure these perimeter devices without locking out its greatest asset: employees. Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI) provides a compelling way to do so.

According to 451 Research, "VMI is emerging as a tool for enterprise mobility as companies want to give access to corporate data without any footprint on the device."

Similar to VDI, VMI provides remote access to a virtual mobile device hosted in a public or private cloud. Users can access sensitive apps and data in an enterprise-secured environment, enjoying all the features and conveniences of their mobile device without exposing the business to increased risk.

The benefits of VMI range from improved security and compliance to a more functional user experience, as well as cost savings. Here are five top reasons to consider deploying a virtual mobile infrastructure:

Support a wide range of devices-Android is the dominant OS for smartphones, with more than 71 percent market share in 2014, followed by Apple (13.1 percent) and Windows (7.1 percent). However, despite the large user base, Android in particular represents a fragmented and challenging ecosystem with large numbers of disparate devices designed by manufacturers around the world. This is in sharp contrast to iOS, which is well known for its closed system tightly controlled by Apple. VMI makes managing BYOD for Android devices just as uniform and easy as iOS, utilizing a single gold disk image of Android to manage and support all end users, regardless of their device or operating system.

Optimize user experience-Today, many organizations claim to follow a mobile-first strategy, yet end users on mobile devices struggle to access an estimated 78 percent of enterprise applications. These business apps - including ERP, CRM, SharePoint, Lync and others - require significant processing power and battery capacity often beyond a user's individual device capabilities. Moving mobile apps to the cloud and providing geographically distributed compute notes eliminates many of these challenges while ensuring consistent quality of service and extreme scale.

Ensure security and privacy-With VMI, all applications and data are stored in a VM on enterprise servers in the cloud, ensuring there is no data at-rest on a local device-ever. If a device is lost or stolen, or an employee leaves the organization, IT can immediately block or revoke the user's access. This ensures enterprise data remains safe, without requiring remote wiping or other more complex security measures. It also protects the employee from intrusive access to and tracking of activities on their personal device by separating work and personal environments on the same computing device.

Leverage existing MAM, MDM investments-Many organizations have made significant investments in enterprise mobility solutions such as Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM). These solutions offer an effective approach for managing enterprise-owned devices, but face challenges when implemented on users' personal devices. VMI complements existing MAM and MDM solutions, while extending their value to contractors, partners and customers outside of your immediate control.

Save costs and improve flexibility - With VMI, there is no inventory to manage or replace; just a cloud of VMs stored on a server, and one virtual device per employee - accessible from every device they own. VM devices can be created based on templates (including template-defined resources such as compute, memory, etc.), allowing multiple sets of users to be created at the same time, driven by an external system such as Active Directory. When business resources or criteria change, global updates can be pushed to users without touching every individual device. VMI also streamlines mobile app provisioning, allowing enterprises to develop or acquire only one version of an application and deliver it universally, regardless of employees' mobile platform. Application updates follow the same one-to-many model.

Employee expectations for BYOD mobility in today's enterprise are high - for functionality, data access, ease of use and privacy. And safeguarding intellectual property and security in a diverse ecosystem of personal devices is a significant challenge. As the mobile-first approach to business takes hold, VMI can provide an efficient, cost-effective way to protect your business without handcuffing your employees.

More Stories By Justin Marston

Justin Marston is CEO and co-founder of Hypori, responsible for the company’s overall business strategy, operations and long-term vision. A seasoned entrepreneur and technology innovator, Justin previously served as founder and CEO at BlueSpace Software, where he developed trusted virtualization security solutions for the defense and intelligence communities. Justin holds multiple patents, is a published author and a frequent speaker who has presented at numerous international defense and entrepreneurship conferences. He holds a masters degree in chemistry from Durham University and is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.