Google has added new mobile device management features to its Google Apps for Business platform.
The search giant is pushing the mobile device management features found on the service, which allows IT administrators to manage Android smartphones and tablets owned by employees from a centralised console.
It has added four new features based on requests from its customers. Selective wipe allows IT administrators to remove Google Apps account data without wiping a user's entire device. The second feature, SD card wipe, wipes SD cards in addition to internal memory during a full device wipe.
The third addition, a Device Policy app, ensures that security policies are enforced across all devices by requiring its latest version. Finally, a new Wi-Fi configuration feature allows admins to enter Wi-Fi settings in an admin console once to then have it automatically pushed out to all managed Android devices.
Other mobile mobile device management features already available as part of the service include setting granular policies and configuring mobile settings at the organisational unit level; controlling what devices can connect to users' Google Apps data using device activation; viewing all mobile devices in the domain connecting with Google Sync or Android Sync; and viewing all apps that access Google Apps data installed on an Android Device, a feature not supported on iOS or Windows Phone.
Analyst house Gartner recently forecast that half of employers will require employees to supply their own devices for work purposes by 2017, creating a greater need for businesses to establish a mobile device management policy to ensure data is secure and trackable.
According to research by Kaspersky, 60% of small and midsized businesses have only a basic understanding of what company data is stored on employees' devices. In addition, only 25% of IT managers admitted to having strict enough rules in place to provide an accurate overview of company information on personal devices.
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