When it comes to enterprise mobility, you already know what you’re aiming for: efficiency and security that support productivity, as defined by your business goals. But you’re not the only factor in this equation. Clients expect responsive service, which means your employees need ready access to business resources whenever and wherever they work. Employees expect to use their favorite mobile devices throughout the day—and the C-suite expects all this plus security, manageability, and controlled costs. No problem, right?
The best way to find a solution is by evaluating these intersecting needs to determine priorities and decide on next steps. Many organizations follow this process and opt to create a mobility strategy to administer business networks, apps, devices, and data. The rewards: saving money, increasing availability, and avoiding the duplicated effort that can happen due to a lack of visibility.
But before you can manage or optimize something, you need to assess it.
Do We Need to Manage Devices Better?
New devices, apps, and technologies will keep proliferating, and employees will continue to adopt them just as quickly. To get the lay of the land at your company, consider:
- Whether you want to allow a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenario.
- Regardless of which strategy you choose, how you will manage and enforce it.
Before you decide on a BYOD environment, a managed platform, or a hybrid approach, take a look at your application architecture and business requirements with all three options in mind. Then figure out which one makes the most sense by asking these questions:
- How will your infrastructure, processes, and existing technology investments integrate with mobile devices?
- Will BYOD present any major security or interoperability issues?
A standardized platform is easier to manage when it comes to app interoperability and ease of providing technical support—if your organization relies heavily on line-of-business apps or is in an industry with particularly strict security requirements, this may be your best choice. On the other hand, employees often get very attached to their favorite devices, so they may not be as happy with this option; in which case you’ll have to consider the cost of providing or subsidizing corporate devices.
It’s possible to establish a platform that can discover and identify mobile devices automatically to make mobile device management (MDM) easier. A good mobility partner can help with this by walking you through various choices for managing BYOD, standardized, and hybrid environments.
Do We Need to Manage Applications Better?
First, find out which applications your employees are using—and what they’re using them for.
Analyzing your WLAN traffic is a good way to figure this out. Using either traffic monitors built into your network or stand-alone traffic analysis tools, you can spot trends that call out employees’ needs. Are they downloading apps you’ve never heard of? If so, what are they doing with them? It may be time to reflect on security issues:
- Some mobile apps don’t encrypt the data they transmit and receive over the network, which makes it easy for information to be intercepted. Will this be too detrimental to security?
- If workers are using apps to exchange or store sensitive company data, will you need to reconcile this with company policies—and if so, how will you do it?
You can use a mobile application management (MAM) solution to boost security and infrastructure integrity by designating which applications can be downloaded and which users and devices can access particular apps. It’s also worth noting that if you’re set on a BYOD environment, MAM solutions can help prevent corporate data risks because corporate and personal apps can peacefully (and safely) coexist on the same device.
Do We Need to Manage Data Better?
If your employees are using consumer cloud file-sharing apps such as Dropbox, Box (which also has an enterprise version), Google Drive, and so on, consider:
- How this affects data security and the business overall.
- Whether you need stricter control over data to meet regulatory requirements or to safeguard proprietary information while still allowing employees to exchange files from mobile devices.
There are mobile information management (MIM) solutions made specifically for managing this type of scenario. Most of these solutions give your employees the ability to sync documents safely across different devices and operating systems, and they allow only approved applications to access or transmit those files.
If your assessments add up to the need for a mobility strategy, you’re not alone. Enterprise mobility is integral to your business. But in order to be a strategic asset and not just another technology investment, it must align with corporate goals and policies.