For some consumers, being able to have a device that you do email, browse the web, shop, and have a bit of fun; for others, especially those who rely on their smartphones and laptops for work, it means being able do the previous AND to access you work email, corporate files, office intranet, and key line of business applications all on the same device. However the latter use has not yet been ubiquitous because of concerns from CIOs from threats of security.
There were three major movements in this area from what I saw at MWC that are in my view significant steps towards making mobile devices truly mobile enterprise productivity ready giving CIOs comfort they need:
First and foremost there was Samsung Knox whose announcement caught much of the industry off guard, in the most positive way possible with the #1 Smartphone OEM making a statement that security was of paramount importance to mobile devices. Having won the hearts and minds of many consumers with their highly successful Galaxy line of phones, it was evident that the time was ripe to cross over and cater to enterprises, so that their devices could also play well in the enterprise space. Utilizing ARM Trustzone™, the “Samsung Knox is the comprehensive enterprise mobile solution for work and play. With increasing use of the smartphones in business, it addresses mobile security needs of enterprise IT without invading privacy of employees.”
Second was the prevalence of several Virtualization platforms from vendors VMWare, Red Bend, Green Hills, and General Dynamics (formerly Open Kernel Labs). All of them had solutions running on top of ARM based mobile devices enabling enterprises to easily offer dual-persona phones and tablets allowing consumers to keep their personal data private and their corporate data secured and managed by their enterprise. It was also exciting to see some of the vendors such as RedBend and Green Hills even showcasing demos running on top of Cortex-A15™ enabling greater level of security by taking advantage of Virtualization Extensions giving greater performances to Type1 Hypervisors.
Finally the last but certainly not least most interesting demo was on ARM’s very own booth which was the BYOD demo from Good Technology (video below). Taking advantage of ARM TrustZone technology together with Trustonic™ Trusted Execution Environment, Good Technology demonstrated an enhanced version of their Good for Enterprise™ secure entry of credentials (such as your domain password for VPN or email access) could be kept secure from key loggers and other threats from malware within Android.
Although I chose to highlight these three technologies it would be unfair not to point out that there was a vast array of other security solutions on offer at MWC catering to BYOD. This is a clear indication of demand in the market to make our beloved mobile devices play nicely at work. I look forward to the increased security technologies combined with innovations in productivity applications enabling us to be as productive as we can during the daylight hours and allowing us to then switch off and enjoy our mobile device to play our favorite tunes, video, or game to wind down in the evening!
Karthik Ranjan, Senior Strategic Partner Manager, ARM, has spent the last 13 years in the consumer electronics industry with companies such as Intel, Microsoft, and Amino. Recently Karthik joined the ARM team and is responsible for managing ARMs relationship with Mobile and Pay-TV Operators in N. America. Karthik is an individual who can best be described as an “Early Adopter” of new technology, be it MID, Tablet, or even the Smartpen. Since Karthik has joined ARM he has been a kid in the candy store drooling over all the smart mobile devices which are ARM powered.
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