Mobile devices are ubiquitous today. With every individual having access to an average of 2 devices, business houses are adopting the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to allow employees access to business’ critical data on their personal devices. This is done to boost employee performance and drive productivity. However, simultaneously it attracts its own set of challenges with data security being the biggest. Hence, businesses are implementing an enterprise mobility solution to protect the sensitive data.
Enterprise Mobility, as its commonly referred to, is a growing priority for every global CIO, and is expected to be worth over USD 266 Billion by 2019.
So, what should be the key questions every CIO must address during the evaluation, planning and implementation of their organization’s enterprise mobility strategy?
Why should I consider an Enterprise Mobility Solution?
If you have a mobile workforce, local or global, that accesses critical business information on personal devices rather frequently then you really must implement an Enterprise Mobility solution. It must be understood that BYOD trends are driven by employees. If the enterprise doesn’t provide mobility services and tools, employees may begin using 3rd party unsupported tools like external e-mail clients, collaboration platforms, and applications. This poses an even greater threat to your organization’s infrastructure and data!
How do I prepare my organization for all the different kinds of devices?
Device fragmentation has already reached the next level with the advent of mobile devices. It is nearly impossible for an organization to test and support all devices. In order to mitigate this situation, organizations must move to an app-based approach rather than a device-based approach. Building user identification and security controls into individual apps is simpler and quicker than implementing device-level controls. It is essential for CIOs to consider device fragmentation and app-level permissions in their decision for an enterprise mobility solution.
How big a problem is mobile security and what should I do about it?
Mobile devices present a security challenge because of two reasons – lack of desktop level enterprise security and the possibility of getting misplaced. These reasons make mobile phones the least secure end-point being used to access critical data, and calls for the implementation of tighter user access based controls. Security features such as multi-factor authentication, activity tracking, remote wipe and file level permissions to track applications should be essential components of an organization’s mobile security strategy.
What happens to my existing business applications?
While most modern software companies are building mobile capabilities into their products, it can be expensive and cumbersome to build interfaces between legacy applications and new mobile-centric applications. This challenge can get worse if legacy applications at the backend are responsible for data fetching and modeling operations that are required by the mobile applications. The strategy in such a case would be to try building simpler mobile applications for other tasks while legacy applications are updated or replaced to be able to become compatible with the emerging future landscape.
As per a research conducted by Linux OS leader Red Hat, 43% CXOs identified back-end and legacy application integration as a major enterprise mobility challenge.
Planning and implementing your own enterprise mobility strategy can be challenging. One must evaluate and decide on the flexibility and capability of the solution while protecting the company networks from varied threats. A well-thought out and executed strategy with a strong product like Microsoft Enterprise Mobility suite at the core can successfully deliver increased employee responsiveness with high speed in decision making, improved customer satisfaction, robust security, and reduced operational costs.