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MobileIron 4 Tames Smartphone Sprawl And Enables Private Apps

The media is abuzz with with predictions of just how big the bang can be that accompanies the explosion of smartphones and mobile broadband-enabled tablets going on now in an enterprise near you. While analysts look into their crystal balls, those who manage networks struggle with how to reconcile the popularity of mobile devices with corporate policy, and examine how they need to adjust their own approaches to balance device usefulness with organizational security. Enter MobileIron, the Tamer of Apps, Herder of Cats, and teller of a good story that's about to get better.

It took me two presentations before the value of MobileIron sunk in, but once the hook was set I was impressed. In my own workplace, I see the proliferation of Android devices, iPhones and iPads, and other mobile devices loaded up with apps of all sorts. I have been in on discussions about how to best secure these devices and the data on them, how to handle the inevitable loss or theft of a key executive's mobile device, and I currently sit on a team trying to architect an IT asset inventory solution in a complex environment.

After speaking with Ojes Rege and Jesse Lindeman, MobileIron's Product VP and Director of Product Management respectfully, I appreciate what MobileIron is doing in a space that otherwise could quickly turn chaotic. And with the just announced MobileIron Version 4, the value proposition becomes much more interesting.

Back to exactly what MobileIron does before I get into what is new and cool. The quick and dirty comes down to this: through either a hosted or customer-located management console, MobileIron provides granular and flexible control over mobile devices and multi-OS device mixtures. Lose a device? Remotely wipe it. Have a mix of corporate owned and personal iPhones used for business? Rule the corporate subset as you would a tightly-controlled Active Directory environment, while only getting only as invasive on the personal units as needed to keep data secure and required apps updated. Have international travelers ringing up huge roaming charges on their Blackberries? MobileIron can alert both user and administrator before things get ridiculous as the charges mount. Have doubts about the performance of your mobile carrier's network? Yep- MobileIron can identify issues and give you a metrics-based leg to stand on when you need to challenge the carriers to live up to their end of the contract.

Devices can even be blocked from syncing corporate email if they are not authorized, if so desired by policy. MobileIron puts monitoring and control in a powerful single-pane-of-glass view, and once you see it in action it makes perfect sense as the answer to getting a handle on what mobile devices should and shouldn't be doing. Again, this is powerful stuff.

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