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11Dec 2016

Enterprise Mobility Challenges in 2017 and Beyond

 

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The face of enterprise technology has changed immensely over the last few years. Cheap and reliable access to mobile internet is driving improvements in mobile technology such as smartphones and tablet devices. For many people, these two technologies combine to give them always-on access to their workplace.

Enterprise mobility is the fruition of this trend, recognition, and adoption of mobile devices into the corporate tech stack. This provides employees with the freedom to access enterprise applications wherever they may be. This has transformed certain job roles entirely. For example, mobile sales reps can now access accurate and up to date price and stock data whilst sitting in front of a client. But this extra flexibility comes with a price.

Current Enterprise Mobility Challenges

Enterprise mobility is still an emerging technology. Although many companies have adopted it, there is still no single set of best practices, or global standardization in place to govern the way the technology is deployed and managed.

This means that the real leaders in enterprise mobility deployment are trailblazing in many ways. And the trail itself is far from straight or smooth. Consider for a moment the resources that most companies apply to managing and administrating their standardized PC desktop in the workplace. Now increase the complexity of that task by an order of magnitude when it comes to administering mobile tech. The sheer volume of device models, operating system versions, and potential application conflicts is immense. Especially when enterprise mobility in the workplace includes a BYOD policy.

We also need to consider mobile device security. Desktop security is an exact science these days. Put a standard desktop together, lock it down, add some antivirus software and a firewall and we are done. All managed remotely via a standardized management console. Mobile tech is not secured so easily, and a comprehensive MDM (Mobile Device Management) platform can be tricky to deploy.

Future Enterprise Mobility Challenges

If we take the examples of current challenges as a basis for extrapolating future challenges, we could come up with a list that looks something like this:

  1. Educating employees:

    Companies will need to develop a framework of business processes and guidelines to educate users on mobile device best usage practices. The state-of-the-art standard of your security standards and technology solutions will fail to deliver if they are not effectively implemented and enforced among the workforce. To employ these standards, every user will need to act vigilantly and ensure the security best practices are followed under all circumstances.

  2. A method for managing all devices:

    A method for managing all mobile devices attached to the corporate network needs to be deployed. Mobility is leveraged to enhance productivity and thereby increase business bottom-line. Unless IT admins can manage the diverse and vast set of mobile technologies used within and beyond the workplace, your organization will struggle to maximize the value potential of enterprise mobility.

  3. Standardized device operating systems and apps:

    Standardized device installs need to be developed. This includes both the operating system and the applications installed. Technology incapability tends to disrupt effective information sharing and service access. Users may want to use different technologies and operating systems, but there must be standardized processes in place to ensure the required apps and services are accessible to every concerned employee.

  4. Plug security vulnerabilities:

    Ongoing security evaluations need to be undertaken and security vulnerabilities plugged. The security threat landscape is continuously evolving. To stay on top of the changing risk vectors, your organization must identify the latest vulnerabilities and exploits within your mobility network before cybercriminals get a chance to exploit and inflict irreversible damages to your organization.

 

Mobile Device Management is the Answer

A solid MDM platform can help to tackle each of the current challenges faced by enterprise mobility, and those in the future.

By centralizing the management of mobile devices in the same way that PC and notebook desktops are managed remotely, the enterprise gains back control over the devices in use.

Operating system and application updates can be installed remotely, and security vulnerabilities fixed. Furthermore, lost or stolen devices can be located, or even remote wiped. This basic feature set of an MDM platform covers most of the challenges, and as the technology matures, it will help tackle any fresh challenges.

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