It will also take advantage of the new operating system’s Balance feature to personal and corporate apps and data separate. “End users want choice, end users want flexibility, and, most importantly, end users want fun,” Panezic said. When IT puts limitations on third-party apps for security purposes, users will try to find a workaround, exposing even more security risks.
Balance keeps third-party apps downloaded by the user in a personal perimeter, while apps pushed by the company to devices or downloaded from the corporate app store are kept in a corporate perimeter, with 256-bit AES encryption at the storage level, Panezic said. Users have to log in to access the corporate perimeter, and data and apps can’t be moved to the personal side.
“You have to keep that separation between the sheep (the corporate apps and data) and the wolves (what the user wants to do with the device),” he said.
Charaka Kithulegoda, chief information officer of ING Direct Canada, called the announcement “interesting” in an interview.
“It sounds promising,” he said. There’s a variety of mobile platforms in use by ING staff; in fact, it was the first bank to support customer transactions on every major mobile platform.
“It’s difficult to say no” to employees who want to use their own devices on the corporate network, he said.
“We’re actively looking for solutions” to manage across mobile platforms, he said. He’ll be evaluating how much of the offering is realistic, whether or not he can use the bank’s existing infrastructure and how complex the integration would be, he said.
Panezic insisted in the Webcast that the complexity would be minimal. “IT doesn’t have to do anything special except provision (the devices),” he said. And app developers don’t have to do anything more, either, as Mobile Fusion will automatically pen third-party apps in the personal perimeter.
Mark Tauschek, a lead analyst at Info-Tech Research in London, Ont., said IT departments will likely see the ability to have only one mobile management software solution for all mobile platforms as "awesome" -- assuming Mobile Fusion works well.
But, he added, RIM may have made the move too late. "They should have been on this a year ago," he said.
(With additional material from Howard Solomon, Network World Canada)