Google is enabling organizations to pre-configure and secure Android devices for business use prior to employees taking receipt of them. This zero-touch approach means that employees do not have to manually configure Android devices they have been provisioned – this process can be undertaken automatically. This will save employees and IT administrators time, while also helping establish a secure mobile environment, as usage policies can also be pre-configured via MDM integration as part of the process.
Simplifying the device-provisioning process
The new zero-touch enrollment model introduced by Google enables IT departments to not only deploy corporate-owned devices to employees in bulk, but to do so in a way that is secure due to mobile device management (MDM) auto-enrollment. Additionally, app and policy pre-configurations can be made, providing employees with an optimal out-of-the-box provisioning experience across a range of Android devices, including those provided by Huawei, Sony, and Google itself.
Increasing the appeal of a corporate-owned device strategy over a bring-your-own model
Apple has offered zero-touch enrollment for iOS devices for some time, and Microsoft recently announced a zero-touch deployment model in the form of Windows AutoPilot, so Google's introduction of this capability was inevitable. For enterprises, the simplified yet secure approach to mobile device and app enablement offered by these zero-touch deployment models further strengthens the appeal of a corporate-owned device strategy. This is because employees now have a broad choice of devices that they can utilize, and good security of devices can be established due to MDM auto-enrollment. Interest in this simplified approach to provisioning and securing devices running OSs provided by the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft will further drive interest in enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions, as well as a more unified approach to endpoint management that many leading vendors in the EMM space are supporting.
Android Enterprise Zero-touch enrollment (official site), https://www.android.com/enterprise/management/zero-touch/ [accessed September 22, 2017]
Apple Device Enrollment (official site), https://support.apple.com/en-ae/HT204142 [accessed September 22, 2017]
Overview of Windows AutoPilot, https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/windows-10-auto-pilot [accessed September 22, 2017]
Adam Holtby, Senior Research Analyst, Workspace Services