With the ever inreasing trends in mobile applications, we are now a part of an era where sale of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, phablets and its variants has crossed the sales figures of PCs. Therefore, it becomes imperative for organizations to embrace the idea of employees using their mobile devices for office work resulting in more productivity. Accessing corporate emails or documents is quite a familiar example of mobility and what we can gain out of it.
Enterprise mobility management is an attempt by software vendors to manage people, mobile devices and data so as to enable an organization to allow its employees access to business data and services and thereby increase the scope of business intelligence and analysis through mobility.
Organizations have understood that mobile devices usage by employees will help to improve and streamline business needs eventually resulting in increased productivity and employee job satisfaction. But it also means laying a premium on data security risks and costs in developing infrastructure to support mobility of business data.
BOYD – Bring your own device is a concept where organizations encourage relevant employees to bring their own mobile devices instead of employers providing them, it is also a concept that encourages employees to use their own devices to access business data or services and make it an extension of office when at home or travelling.
There are of course disadvantages of increasing mobility: apart from organization centric disadvantages like data security and infrastructure costs, organizations should also be able humanely handle employees concerns on taking work to home and expecting them to be available 24 x 7 invading their privacy.
Organizations should have a clear cut policy on what can be accessed via mobile devices, security risk management, device support and management, employee privacy, etc. As we move on from PC era to mobile era, enterprise mobility management will become an important tool for organizations to invest in and protect their business interests.
What should Enterprise Mobility Management do?
Enterprise mobility management should effectively handle the following
- Security A BOYD should not become a Bring-your-own-disaster where enterprise data being accessible outside organization environment over public network by employees is at the highest risk of being fraudulently misused by competitors or by hackers for illegal gains.
Proper monitoring system and security filters should be in place as to what kind of data is accessible and how.
In-device Apps are the least secure as more control is at device level than corporate level, while browser-based SaaS model is more secure as both data and services can be deployed at corporate servers and accessed by device browsers. Cloud computing is yet another viable option. To avoid security issues in the cloud, always ensure that you purchase adquate backup and recovery services.
- Application management Applications accessible on devices will have to be managed and configured based on hardware and screen parameters which is not an easy task to do. IT department should be able to effectively manage this aspect to get maximum gain from mobility.
- Costs and Benefits Costs and benefits analysis needs to be routinely performed and fine tuned in order to make sure organization is not losing out due to mobility, but gaining more productivity and ROI.
Should organizations discourage mobility?
Various surveys have indicated increased productivity and gain for organizations which has an effective mobility management policy in place and there is no reason for organizations to curb this oncoming technology evolution unless they are catering to confidential business interests like Defence services, etc.