Mobility Asset Management and BYOD Challenges

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IT asset management now accounts not only for company-owned assets, but also to ensure that appropriate security is implemented on employee-owned mobile devices.

Integrating Processes and Data

Even with a solid strategy, there are other challenges, especially when the MAM program is driven by multiple functional integration points throughout the asset life cycle. Meeting this challenge requires capturing the relevant asset data from the many related environments and processes managed by numerous stakeholders outside the IT environment. Not only are IT managers forced to meet multiple user needs in the mobility environment, but they are also required to rely on the integration of processes and data they do not own.

MAM must ensure robust internal communication to effectively raise end-user awareness of MAM’s importance in the changing environment; make senior management aware of potential risks to corporate proprietary information; provide input into decision-making processes affecting the information transfer and architecture; and collaborate with teams such as HR, IT security, internal audit and privacy policy groups. Communication with external contacts—including vendors, auditors and consultants—is also required.

Making decisions and quantifying risks about mobile devices can be difficult without good data about the mobile devices in your environment. For example, it’s not uncommon for terminated employees to still be using corporate mobile devices—but you can’t stop this unless you know about it. Deploying an inventory tool on all devices can keep track of and report on how mobile devices are being used and by whom. Make sure that the solution:

• empowers IT services to troubleshoot devices;

• is accessible outside of IT (for example, HR should have access during exit interviews to turn off devices for employees who are leaving the company); and

• includes strong application inventory and search capabilities.

Security can monitor data streams in real time and search terabytes of historical data to continuously monitor data coming from any source. The security team can alert MAM whenever an attempted intrusion occurs.

ITAM is required to pull data from an asset management database that may contain contextual information about hosts, such as security classifications, system owner information and uptime requirements. Part or all of this information should be presented in reports and dashboards to users.

Whether in government or the private sector, when IT asset accountability morphs from an inventory management function to a more strategic financial management role, it must manage risk and develop financial awareness. As technology evolves and access to information multiplies, the role of mobile asset management is to provide value-driven, asset-related cost analysis and industry security direction to senior management in support of all IT management decisions. The people managing MAM must have the requisite communication skills to deliver the message and demonstrate the needed risk/benefit analysis when required. 

Barb Rembiesa, founder and CEO of the International Association of IT Asset Managers, has led the organization for 20-plus years. The IAITAM is a worldwide association focused on education, with individual and enterprise members in more than 50 countries. Its Asset Management certification courses have become the industry standard. Most recently, Rembiesa was the CEO of Astria Software Services.



This article was originally published on 2013-02-04
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