Is Your Enterprise Mobility Strategy Good?

By Billy Ho, EVP Enterprise Products & Value Added Solutions, BlackBerry

There are numerous benefits to creating a mobile workforce, including improved information sharing, increased productivity and greater work flexibility. But this has left many enterprises having to manage the need to balance connecting more devices, apps and data to enable business productivity while at the same time tightly handling security and controlling cost.

If your company is highly structured and has several compliance and reporting requirements, you need to carefully evaluate your enterprise mobility management (EMM) options to understand where your data resides, where it goes and how it gets delivered. With employees using their mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs, there is a need to develop secured platforms and related monitoring requirements.

Securing investment for future endpoints and technologies

First of all the IT decision makers of an enterprise have to focus on their multi-endpoint strategy and managing different ownership models in the same organization. Over the last year, the market for enterprise-ready mobile cross-platform development has already opened up in a big way.Moving on every organization must future proof their investment by being ready to manage what could be the next generation of OS versions, device types or IoT components. Securely connecting sensors and secure data delivery to wearables is already on the way and businesses have to be aware to adapt these trends in their environment.This requires an EMM solution that has the flexibility to manage multiple types of devices and operating systems also for future requirements without adding complexity to the deployment.

Many organizations may also employ EMM across a variety of risk profiles and use scenarios. These companies need to address environments from BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to COPE (Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled) to COBO (Corporate-Owned, Business-Only) to any combination or mix of approaches. Device management policy requirements may also vary from business unit to business unit, country to country or even employee to employee. Organizations must also be able to manage devices based on employee role, updating polices, for example, when an employee moves to a regulated position that may require auditing of their communications for compliance.

Managing all ownership models is key

These days Enterprises increasingly embrace the BYODs strategy, which allows employees to use their personal mobile devices for work-related communications. While BYOD has a place in some organizations’ mobility plans, however, those in regulated industries have strict requirements that may prevent BYOD use, including information tracking and storage responsibilities.

It strongly depends on the environment and business case. BYOD is not for everyone. The primary tool to support BYOD users will be a multi-OS EMM platform that can support user privacy while delivering on the security needs for the enterprise data that will reside on the mobile device. Leading multi-OS EMM platforms will include a method to deliver secure applications and content to the mobile device such as an application container.

One fundamental risk of BYOD is content retention and management. Corporate information stored on personal mobile devices can be inaccessible to a company’s administrators, subjecting businesses to severe risks, including hefty financial penalties.

The best way for maximum security is to build a better BYOD strategy by deploying corporate owned, personally enabled (COPE) enterprise mobility model as an alternative. COPE and BYOD share a central objective: to fortify workers with a mobile device that can be used securely and simultaneously for both work and personal communications.

The difference between the two models is how they approach this goal. A BYOD approach centers on extending the use of a consumer device to the work realm. COPE, by contrast, starts from a work-first perspective, with IT carving out, or preconfiguring, a portion of the device for personal use. From a management and security perspective, it is easy to understand why COPE is increasingly viewed as an attractive alternative to BYOD. All ownership models should be supported by a modern multi-OS EMM platform.

Secure apps are driving productivity

Another important part in a good EMM strategy has to do with securing Enterprise Apps. Today, as businesses look to drive productivity and efficiency in the organization through mobile, the role of applications has broadened significantly.

As per the recent Gartner report on ‘The Enterprise App Explosion: Scaling One to 100 Mobile Apps’, “by the end of 2017, market demand for mobile app development services will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations' capacity to deliver them.”

Large and medium sized companies are increasingly adapting to the mobile world and realizing the need to offer smartphone access to their line-ofbusiness apps, as well as the benefit of rolling out their own enterprise-to-customer apps.

If an influx of devices created complexity for enterprises, an explosion of applications have further compounded it. Enterprises have access to a wealth of applications that can help employees manage their jobs in a far efficient and effective manner.

As the demand for business critical tools increases, there is the additional complexity of incorporating these apps within the existing standards and policies of the organization. In order to successfully embrace and benefit from the power of enterprise mobile applications, organizations need a well-crafted app deployment strategy. Along with the development of apps, distribution, security and management are the other key elements to focus on.

Comprehensive EMM platform covers all requirements

The next phase of enterprise mobility growth is expected to deliver business-transforming opportunities to enterprises of all sizes and requirements. Mobility as an enabler for enterprises has become a business imperative to enhance productivity, foster innovation and provide competitive advantage.

Next generation mobile environments will require evolved future-ready, multi-OS EMM platforms, and enterprises should look to apps, flexibility in managing all ownership models and simple deployment as the starting point for their strategy.

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Tags datacontrolling costappsconnecting devicesEnterprise Mobility ManagementCOPEIoTEMMBYODinformation sharingEnterprise App explosionmobile workforce

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