A research study conducted by RCR Wireless predicts that by 2022, almost 43 percent of the global workplace will be comprised of mobile workers. The term encompasses components such as employees working completely or partially from remote locations, operating their own devices instead of company-owned devices. To prepare for this highly likely reality in the near future, enterprises are already gearing up to implement enterprise mobility management (EMM) strategies, and upgrade existing strategies around the same goals. In this guide, we’ll bring you up to speed with the latest from the EMM world.
Technology: The glue binding the EMM strategy
The number of employee-owned devices in the average workplace easily exceeds the lowest estimates made by mobility strategists just a few years ago. Throw in the potential of IoT and you’ve got an even bigger number to manage (in the very near future). This calls upon enterprises to create or buy into enterprise mobility management platforms. EMM platforms help enterprises by:
- Enabling them to advance their mobility governance practices.
- Empowering them to secure the massive number of mobile devices.
- Enabling the formalization of policies.
- In general, simplifying IT management for mobile devices.
Device management strategies, as well as the capabilities of EMM platforms, are growing in scope. By consciously investing effort and resources in enterprise mobility management strategy upgrades, enterprises can achieve their goals around mobile data security, remote workforce enablement, and cost-cutting on device management.
Balancing security and utility
Enterprise security strategists tread on a thin line. There’s mobile data security on one side and there’s a frustrated workforce on the other side. Here’s how it works. In order to be “absolutely” sure of mobile data security, enterprises go for overkill and restrict everything apart from the bare minimum required by the employees to perform their day to day work.
Though companies have the right and reason to do so, it must be done in a manner so that the workforce doesn’t end up being frustrated, because their personal email IDs, social media network access, and news story apps are disabled — on their own smartphones! Unless there are known security risks at play, it’s not worth lowering employee morale by unnecessarily blocking apps, websites, and operations on their mobile devices.
Remember, at the core of BYOD is the idea to let employees use their personal devices for business as well as personal work, and EMM has to accommodate both aspects.
Critical question of containerization
Data security, application access authorizations, restricted processes, workflows — all these are crucial components of a wholesome EMM strategy, particularly in terms of how it fuses with the existing security strategies. Using containers and related virtualization concepts to isolate data objects so as to minimize risks of information security breaches is a practical solution.
However, enterprises need to carefully balance their containerization approach in terms of the potential negative impact it has on user experience. That’s because containers force employees to switch across different contexts to be able to access information from different datasets. This means they spend more time doing the same job, have to mentally switch across contexts, and in general, give way to a much harsher user experience. What’s the point if employees resist mobile workflows because of the glitch and fractured user experience?
Also, take into account the additional burden on your IT team in terms of monitoring and maintenance as the number of virtual containers increases. Set a baseline user experience, and make sure your security methodology doesn’t cut into it.
Understanding the true spirit of mobility
So, what do you think? Is mobility an IT initiative or a business initiative? We are convinced it’s the latter. At its core, every enterprise mobility management strategy is rooted in the goal of enhancing employee productivity, delivering enriching user experiences, and taking care of mobile decide data security in the process. In fact, research studies suggest that the average enterprise can get as much as 240 hours of additional productive work per mobile employee.
It’s time enterprises started truly understanding the nature of mobility and managing all their internal corporate communications as well as mobility campaigns accordingly. Of course, it’s the prerogative of the IT department to make mobility a reality, but it’s certainly the responsibility of the company’s C-suite executives to ensure enterprise-level buy-in for the EMM strategy.
Unified enterprise mobility management
A challenging reality facing enterprises in the face, every day, is that the ecosystem of mobile devices is becoming increasingly complex. With IoT going mainstream for all kinds of enterprises, it’s known that the complexity will only increase. Now is the time to question your enterprise’s readiness to handle the kind of complexity we’ve referred to. A solution that several enterprises have already started exploring is unified enterprise mobility management. These platforms simplify the onerous task of managing different mobile technologies within a common boundary. A unified platform allows enterprises to add new flexibility to the mobility ecosystem without losing sleep over potential compatibility clashes in terms of communication protocols and operating systems.
How to be future-proof
A great question — if the rapid pace of mobile technology advancements has made EMM a must for companies today, how can they stay truly in control for the future? It’s by adhering to these best practices:
- Let business goals define everything about your mobility innovations. (Your problem is not to support smartwatches but to evaluate what business value they can deliver and then enable the delivery of that value via mobility.)
- Choose intelligently — the options are mostly around native apps vs. mobile-ready websites.
- Focus on building secure APIs to deliver seamless and integrated user experiences.
- Governance of mobility should be global, but also by ensuring that local departments are empowered to get what works best for them.
Mobility is well on track to becoming an important determiner of success for modern workforces. Trust these EMM upgrade strategies to keep your enterprise on track.
Photo credit: Pexels