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OVERVIEW

On September 26, 2012, AppSense held its fourth annual Analysts’ Summit in Boston, MA. Neuralytix was invited to participate in this conference. In this Neuraspective™, Neuralytix provides an analysis of the direction and roadmap presented by AppSense during this conference.

CURRENT OVERVIEW

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has become both a burgeoning opportunity to reduce cost as well as a potential burden on support and security for many enterprises.

AppSense, a 13 year-old company headquartered in the United Kingdom, has tackled BYOD head-on. It has recognized that in today’s world, users have multiple end-points (including, but not limited to mobile phones, laptops, netbooks, tablets, etc.) It also recognizes that data security goes beyond keeping users in or out. Instead, AppSense uses the concept of a User Virtualization Platform (UVP), in which managing data security is not based on an application or a server.

Instead, AppSense focuses on the profile of a user, understanding that contemporary society has converged both work and personal onto one or more end-point devices.

AppSense views this virtualization in the following figure:

Figure 1: AppSense approach to user virtualization

FIGURE 1

This approach has the benefit of disconnecting the user from:

  • Applications;
  • Operating Systems; and
  • Devices

Centralized management improves productivity from administrators

Source: AppSense, 2012

This approach is differentiated in that the administration is focused on centralized management of users. It allows users to use almost any device on any operating system. It empowers enterprises to securely integrate the concept of BYOD.

Neuralytix™ Perspective & Business Value Assessment

BYOD is empowering for the user. However, for the IT staff, BYOD often increases the administration involved. It can also introduce risks such as legal risks and security risks

Too often, “power users” who tend to push the envelope on IT standards, are often considered “rogue” by the IT department. Traditionally, these have been the type of user who desired to bring their own devices to work because they believe that their own choices will improve productivity (as an extension of familiarity).

What is different today is that the “power” or “rogue” user is not an amateur technology enthusiast working in a large enterprise. Instead, it is a senior executive including a CEO. It is likely that the said executive may have been influenced by the “trendy” attraction of shiny new gadgets like the iPhone. They could have been influenced by family members. Unlike the traditional “rogue” user who is somewhat powerless to change IT policies, CEO’s often have the authority to enact change to IT policies. They are the ones often pushing IT to make an exception to their use of non-standard devices.

These same executives then recognize that if they get an exception, this same exception should be extended to others in the company. This tale is played out in enterprises around the world.

Ultimately, the business value of BYOD can be harnessed and focused through productivity and personal satisfaction gains. Value that is often considered “soft” or unquantifiable. Allowing employees to BYOD should compromise neither the security nor the availability of corporate IT resources. Enterprises should accept the convergence of professional and personal lives through an individual expression of technology. As such, the need to manage the individual user, rather than the application or server/operating system is more critical.

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