As a growing number of enterprises consider a "bring your own" mobile device strategy, there is an increasing need for solutions that give end users access to corporate data while also providing assurance that corporate security and compliance guidelines will not be breached.
According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), two distinct approaches – mobile device virtualisation and client virtualisation mobile extensions – each offer unique benefits that can help enterprises embrace the consumerisation of IT that has begun to rapidly infiltrate companies across the board.
When companies extend client virtualisation to mobile devices, employees gain the ability to access their desktop whenever and wherever they have a viable network connection to the corporate datacenter. This allows workers to remain productive despite their physical location.
Additionally, since the data is typically not downloaded to the local access devices, IT can rest assured that sensitive information will not be compromised.
Mobile device virtualisation refers to a mobile device that has a hypervisor running on the device chipset or just above the operating system of the device. "Mobile device virtualisation is an enabling technology that offers benefits to various stakeholders in the mobile ecosystem," says Stacy Crook, senior analyst, Mobile Enterprise research.
One of the most intriguing use cases of mobile device virtualisation is the individual-liable mobile device. Because the hypervisor allows the device to run multiple instances of the operating system, an individual-liable device can now completely isolate the data in one OS from the other, running one instance for corporate applications, media, and content, and another for personal apps, content, media, etc. This gives IT the ability to only manage the corporate portion of the device, which users like, and it gives IT the knowledge that anything the user does on the personal OS of the device will not compromise the corporate side.
The IDC study also find that mobile device virtualisation lowers the bill of materials (BOM) of mobile devices, reduces time to market, and allows mobile operators an opportunity to offer smartphones at sub-$100 prices.
Another finding is that mobile device virtualisation allows silicon vendors to reuse existing real-time operating systems (RTOS) assets when developing chipsets.
For the chipset vendor, the use of virtualisation technology results in both time and cost savings that can then be passed on to its OEM customers.
Mobile operators are a key stakeholder to get on board, notes the study, adding that mobile operators worldwide are looking to increase their value to their consumer and enterprise customers.
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