According to a recent survey of 900 IT decision makers, 92 per cent of global IT departments still restrict users from accessing corporate data and resources from mobile devices.
Organisations are struggling to keep up with tech-savvy employees who have high expectations when it comes to their devices and ‘anytime, anywhere’ working – while IT departments are still adapting to how to best enable this new way of working in the midst of a rapidly expanding cyber threat landscape.
There are many elements to consider when implementing mobility for business, above which handsets to choose. A successful mobility strategy should allow employees to work to the same level remotely as when they’re in the office – whether in regards to connectivity or security. So where do enterprises begin – here are just a few things to consider:
Security is one of the biggest challenges with mobility – but creating an accurate inventory of all devices and their status can help keep assets secure over time. This can prevent the ever-increasing endpoints in the enterprise from operating in isolation from one another and ensure they function in all situations. For example, laptops may be completely secure when they’re on the company’s own network and behind a firewall, but once out of the office they’re exposed to much more uncertain environments.
Another important consideration is an open access network, which is key for delivering a network infrastructure fit for mobility. Organisations should look to mobilise their on-premise solutions to leverage that investment, but will need to remain aware of any associated risks involved with doing so – particularly around security of data.
Unified communications are also essential for mobile strategy so that workers can work on any device, from anywhere, at any time. Organisations need to provide access to valuable services and capabilities: messaging, voice over IP, chat and conferencing – but through a cohesive system that’s responsive to the needs of individual users.
And choosing the right device is important – there’s a lot more involved when choosing a business device than aesthetics – but so is considering the most appropriate operating system. When adopting new technologies it’s important to consider if they will fully support the requirements of the end users and the corporate applications – as well as ensuring security.
But the success of any mobile strategy depends on user adoption; an on-device experience for employees that’s seamless and straightforward is vital. Many companies settle for mobile solutions that are secure but only provide paired down apps and tools on devices. However, these often fail to provide much needed functionality and therefore significantly hinder the return on investment. Succeeding in this area is about achieving a careful balance whereby the needs of the business and the end user are aligned as much as possible.
It’s also important to encourage user feedback. A lack of involvement in the device decision-making process could have a detrimental effect on user productivity – it could even mean additional support has to be provided to users who are unfamiliar with the new products. Engaging with a subset of end users / power users via forums, focus groups or even questionnaires will assist in fleshing out what those users need, and avoids assumption on the part of IT.
The ability to communicate continuously and effectively is vital for business productivity, so it’s important to integrate mobile capabilities into the IT infrastructure through a robust mobile strategy. If you need advice on how to support mobility in the enterprise please get in touch.