Firms shunning intrusive MDM policies: Citrix

With the growing maturity of mobile adoption in the workplace, companies are moving away from heavy handed mobile device management (MDM) strategies and focusing instead on enabling collaboration and productivity, according to a report released by networking solutions firm Citrix System.

Global mobile device enrollment in the enterprise space grew by as much as72 per cent last year compared to 2013 figures, according to the Citrix Mobile Analytics Report for the first half of 2015.

Of the businesses deploying company sanctioned devices 90 per cent employ passcode enforcement as a security measure, down from 91 per cent in 2013. However, the report found that more drastic measures such the use of location-based device restrictions has gone down.

“Policies are enforced at a device, app or file level to ensure enterprise security and compliance of mobile users,” the report said. “GPS dropped from 2013 to 2014. Companies are transitioning away from intrusive device-level policies such as GPS restrictions.”

The most popular mobility enforcement methods in the enterprise are:

Citrix MDM methods survey

The report said the latest trends show signs of both “growing sophistication” in the way companies empower and manage employee mobility and the need for IT to non-secure consumer-grade mobile apps and services under control.

“The line between personal and business mobility continues to blur as people routinely use the same smart phone and tablets across every part of their lives,” said Chris Fleck, vice-president of mobility solutions and alliances at Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS). “It’s no longer possible to maintain artificial boundaries of personal and business mobility.”


For example, blacklisting and whitelisting continues to be central elements of enterprise.

Citrix MDM whitelist and blacklist


Many firms still rely on blacklisting third-party apps that may lack enterprise-grade security. According to the survey, the top blacklisted apps include GPS, Dropbox, Mail, Facebook and Twitter.

The inclusion in the blacklist of cloud storage and messaging services like Dropbox and Mail reveal that employees are looking for productivity-related applications on their own for use in the workplace.

The most commonly whitelisted apps include: Adobe Reader, OneNote, Lync, PDF, Notes, Facebook and Twitter. Again, this list indicates the importance of productivity and collaboration applications in the workplace.

The fact that social media applications like Facebook and Twitter, appears both on the blacklist and whitelist, indicates that while some firms block the use of these apps for personal use, other organizations may allow them for marketing purposes, the report said.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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