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Enterprise Mobility’s Acronym Apocalypse: EMM, MDM and More

enterprise mobility acronymsThink back to 2009, when the term BYOD was introduced. Without a doubt, there were some who could foresee how wild and crazy things would get with enterprise mobility. 

Over the past few years, the list of related acronyms has been expanding like a mushroom cloud – and for many of us, sometimes it feels as intimidating.

Read on for a round-up of some of the most widely used acronyms related to mobile devices and the workplace. And maybe next time you run into someone from your company’s IT team while getting your morning coffee, and the topic of smartphones comes up, you won’t have to pretend you have at least a clue what they're talking about.

BYOA – Bring Your Own App

BYOA is an outgrowth of BYOD. It’s a growing trend where employees use their favorite apps on their personal mobile devices for work tasks. Some popular consumer apps employees use for business purposes are Google Docs, Dropbox and Evernote.

CoIT – The Consumerization of IT

This is the cycle of information technology developing inside the consumer market, and then quickly spreading to the workplace. The consumerization of IT is happening in large part due to employees using certain consumer apps, devices and other technologies at home and then also using them on their work devices.

COPE – Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled

With COPE, employers have more control over their employees’ personal devices. This business practice, often implemented because of security risks, involves employers choosing the protocols for their employees’ personal devices they use for work purposes, such as what devices and operating systems are acceptable.

Oftentimes employers have a list of mandated options and then employees can choose from the list based on their personal preferences.

CYOD – Choose Your Own Device

The CYOD option is where employees choose a mobile device from their company’s list of preapproved devices. This option benefits both parties: Employees still get some of the variety they want, and the company IT department can pre-install necessary security software and set up network and firewall settings to better protect their data and brand.

In some cases, the employees pay for their own device to use and keep forever, or the company provides a stipend and the employee can keep and use the device as long as they work for that company.

MAM – Mobile Application Management

MAM lets a company's IT team, through certain software and services, control access to enterprise-level apps on employee mobile devices, whether on a BYOD policy or a company-provided device. The focus isn’t on the device itself, it's about controlling user access to corporate apps. Some MAM software also limits how corporate data can be shared.

MDM – Mobile Device Management

This refers to a company’s ability to distribute data, apps and configuration setting for every type of mobile device over-the-air, as well as remotely wipe or lock the hard drive of the device. Mobile device management applies to both BYOD personal devices and company-owned devices.

MRM – Mobile Risk Management

MRM is the enterprise’s strategy to analyze and eliminate potential threats and problems that generally accompany the widespread use of mobile devices for work and personal purposes. Having a plan in place helps companies better protect their privacy and mitigate risks related to security breaches, data loss, non-compliance, etc.

EMM – Enterprise Mobility Management

EMM is the entire approach a company chooses to secure and enable employee use of mobile devices. It's usually a combination of MDM and MAM.

Enterprise mobiity is a complex ecosystem – one that will continue to evolve and grow. So review these acronyms a few times, use them if you get the chance, and keep your eyes open for the next batch to crop up.

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