Keeping Up With Modern Enterprise Mobility By Brian Albright Mobility projects have increased in scope and complexity, and they require a more grass-‐roots approach than previous technology initiatives.
Enterprise mobility solutions have evolved rapidly over the past several years. The number and type of mobile devices have exploded, there are more operating system platforms available, lines are blurring between consumer and rugged devices, and many companies have even adopted BYOD programs for employee-‐owned hardware. There are new security concerns and solutions, along with cloud-‐based applications and new mobile device management options. Many enterprise mobility strategies, however, were originally developed around older technology paradigms. In some cases, companies may never have fully developed a mobility strategy at all. A guiding plan for a company’s approach to mobile deployments is important to ensure the systems are secure, reliable, and manageable. Given the complexity of the current mobility market, Field Technologies surveyed a number of leading solution vendors to find best practices for developing a modern enterprise mobility strategy. “Every department has a hand in mobile and expects IT to deliver on and support these demands at an accelerating pace,” says Marco Nielsen, VP of managed mobility services at Stratix. “IT organizations face new complexities with expanding heterogeneous technology populations, multi-‐OS environments, new IT security and management processes, along with how to deliver an always-‐on, always-‐available experience. In order for companies to stay ahead of the curve, they need to invite the business operations into the mobile strategy.” A significant new wrinkle in enterprise mobility is the extension of these solutions to employee-‐owned devices, as well as to mobile devices used by contract service providers, partners, or even customers. Using mobile device management (MDM) solutions is not as straightforward a solution as in completely corporate-‐owned, homogenous environments. “Since MDM solutions require devices to be first enrolled and managed, it’s not suited for extended mobile users such as contractors, dealers, suppliers, agencies, etc.,” says Brian Day, CEO of Apperian. “Even BYOD users are beginning to reject MDM from being installed on their phones just to get access to their corporate email, not wanting to give up personal privacy to employers.” Another challenge is the rise of employee-‐initiated, sometimes unofficial, mobile deployments. IT departments have found it difficult to keep up with the long list of mobility projects, both internal and customer-‐facing.
“Even if the project is completed, IT departments often find it challenging to devote the proper resources needed to manage users, make changes, and deploy updates,” says James Quigley, CEO and cofounder of Canvas. “An organization might have to start from scratch every six months to keep up with ever-‐evolving needs, platforms, and mobile devices.” That has led to so-‐called “shadow IT” technology solutions that the IT department may not even be aware of. Employees can use cloudbased software and services to create their own mobile solutions without any coding, which can be both a blessing and a curse for IT. “One could argue that shadow IT must be front and center in an enterprise’s mobile strategy today in order to transform it from a potential