For progressing businesses that strive to grow diligently and thrive with enterprise mobility, a new chapter has begun. Communication methods between humans and machines chronologically have been drastically transformed with the implementation of enterprise mobility. Similarly, for enterprises, enterprise mobility has transformed the manner how businesses conduct their operations and interact with customers on a day-to-day basis.
Enterprise mobility involves far more than managing mobile devices or mobilizing the workforce. Enterprise mobility is enabling businesses to transform into a holistic organizational culture wherein its implementation is accelerating innovation, integration, opportunities, and efficiencies. To improve your workforce’s productivity and agility, enterprise mobility is imperative within your organization.
The development and implementation of a foolproof enterprise mobility strategy require a well-organized approach that weighs all the possibilities, technicalities, challenges, and risks involved. Therefore, what exactly should companies know about an enterprise mobility strategy? There is more than one step to take!
We should familiarize ourselves with enterprise mobility before discussing this agenda further. Let’s begin with a brief overview of the notion:
What is Enterprise Mobility?
The term enterprise mobility (also known as business mobility) describes the increasing trend of companies offering remote working options, allowing employees to use their own laptops and mobile devices to access organizational data, and utilizing cloud technology for information management.
An analysis of enterprise mobility highlights the utilization of personal devices like mobile phones, laptops, or even desktops by the organizational workforce to store, access, and maintain the organizational data beyond the physical boundaries of the company.
Why is Enterprise Mobility Important?
The emergence of cloud-based services such as Exchange Online and its integration with smartphone devices makes it possible for workforces to respond to corporate email remotely on the go. This process facilitates streamlined communication and collaboration between decision-makers and the workforces and enables them to complete their chronological tasks more efficiently by sharing approvals and submittals.
A siloed enterprise mobility approach might not be effective since it is a part of a broader tech narrative and complements other initiatives within your organization. A study by ResearchandMarkets indicates that the Global Enterprise Mobility market that accounted for $206.13 billion in 2017 is projected to reach $1225.78 billion by 2026. The compound annual growth rate is expected to be 21.9% during the forecast period.
Through enterprise mobility, key organizational data and information can be accessed on the go, greatly enhancing the productivity of the workforce across the organization. Like customer experience, workforce collaboration, and employee productivity dominate the business process, enterprise mobility can empower performance-driven and creative organizations to embrace mobility opportunities to become more efficient in the automation era.
Role of Enterprise Mobility in the Organizations
Enterprise mobility eliminates a few components within the organization that might be limiting the business development and are causing slow growth. We have listed down a few factors that highlight the role enterprise mobility plays in organizations:
1. Real-Time Data Analysis
Decision-makers can monitor real-time data of the organization as well as access the past data straight from their smartphones and analyze it to proceed with further assessment without having to be present in the physical office.
2. Improves Employee Productivity
Real-time data collection and reporting enable the sales teams to store data whilst producing valuable and current information to managers and colleagues. Having this information available can be very important for your funnel optimization and monitoring the sales funnel for existing clients and potential clients.
3. Real-Time Collaboration
In large organizations with several tiers of management, real-time collaboration is a key component of enterprise networking. This promotes cross-level communication, as well as cross-functional problem solving and team collaboration. A successful enterprise mobility initiative will depend on how flexible and well-integrated the workforce is.
Enterprise mobility has enormous potential for delivering benefits to businesses across diversified industries when strategized properly and well-defined goals are established. As a result, enterprise mobility has become a necessity for companies, rather than merely an option.
What is Enterprise Mobility Strategy?
Visualize the term Enterprise Mobility Strategy as a roadmap for a company-wide mobilization program. Enterprise Mobility Strategy is more than just a workflow that encompasses business processes, technology, projects, and the workforce. Rather than restricting access and choice on the smartphone deployment, it is about making new opportunities and efficiencies easier to accelerate the business growth.
In order to build enterprise mobility strategies, these three factors must be considered:
Customer engagement through innovative and powerful methods
Increased productivity and connectivity among employees
Bringing innovative services to the business that can enrich its operations
Benefits of Enterprise Mobility Strategy?
1. Mobile Device Endpoint Security
Cybersecurity remains one of the most significant benefits of an enterprise mobility strategy. Your digital perimeter expands with every new connected device. By deploying a good enterprise mobility strategy in place, you can ensure application and data security across all your organization-owned as well as BYO devices.
For instance, as a precondition for registering personal mobile phone devices for work purposes, you can ask your employees to install your endpoint security such as an MDM solution on their devices as part of your BYOD policies. By implementing this, your visibility could be maintained as well as your ability to monitor all devices with corporate data is not compromised.
2. Enterprise Data Loss Prevention and Mitigation
A major benefit of enterprise mobility strategy is to prevent and mitigate data loss on endpoints and servers. Stolen or lost mobile phone devices act as a gateway for hackers to exploit the stored credentials and steal sensitive organizational data.
Organizations can cope with these mobility risks with an enterprise mobility strategy. With a robust Enterprise Mobility Management Software, the organizations can remotely wipe all the organizational data on a stolen or lost endpoint so that hackers cannot access it. MDM solutions can also assist the organization to monitor, regulate, and restrict the downloading or installation of applications that might not be mission-centric. Moreover, security policies are also made available by Microsoft Intune via Scalefusion MDM solution to protect Microsoft Office 365 Apps and achieve data loss prevention across Intune SDK, on Android & iOS devices through a single console.
3. Reduced Technology Overhead
It is hard to overstate the benefits of enterprise mobility strategy, but one of the most prominent advantages is the reduction in overall enterprise costs. If your organization facilitates a BYOD culture, EMM enables your employees to bring in their own devices centrally. Moreover, since the employees bring their devices for organizational purposes, they are more likely to take better care of them as well as pay for related expenses such as data plans and repairs.
As BYOD policy empowers the employees to bring in their own devices, the expenditure incurred to procure those devices shall not be borne by the organization. It will be a win-win model for both the workforces as well as the organization as the workforces can choose the devices or their choice and the organization can save overhead expenses. It is evident that the workforces are contributing diversified ways into your enterprise mobility strategy independently.
Challenges and Associated Risks
It is imperative that the risks associated with enterprise mobility be identified and mitigated to achieve maximum impact. Let us understand those probable risks one by one.
Employees across organizations use a multitude of mobile phone devices at their workplaces that are made by different manufacturers and run on different operating systems. As a result of this heterogeneity of mobile phone devices and operating systems, the mobility environment could pose several risks such as data loss due to devices lost or stolen, data privacy, etc., if they are not properly managed, administered, and secured.
Misplace, Loss & Theft
Because mobile phone devices are small, handy, and easily portable, they are prone to theft, loss, or misplacement. If those mobile phone devices contain corporate apps, data, and content on them, organizations might hesitate to invite such a risk.
Age of Devices
It is a fact that smartphone technology is changing rapidly each day. There can be instances that the moment you made up your mind to buy the latest smartphone, the newest versions of technology might soon be hitting the market which can leave your present technological possession behind. Organizations face the same issue; they cannot keep up with the rapid change of mobile phone devices.
Unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots are often accessed by remote workers in diversified geographies. Mobile phone devices accessing the internet through unsecured networks are at constant risk of being hacked which might result in data loss. Cyber attackers exploit this vulnerability regularly as most of the business communication happens over unsecured Wi-Fi connectivity and most public hotspots lack security.
Apps & Data Risks
The likelihood of employees downloading potentially harmful apps unintentionally is high if they are permitted to use smartphone devices no matter if it is a BYOD or corporate-owned device without restrictions. Furthermore, employees may download third-party apps such as gaming apps, video apps, and social media apps, none of which are relevant to the business. These apps may also cause data theft and diversion from mission-critical operational activity.
Methods for Developing a Strategic Enterprise Mobility Plan
1. Select the Mobile Devices that your Company will Support
When you decide to deploy mobile phone devices across your organization, you need to select those smartphone devices that work well for your business. Currently, there are a plethora of different mobile phone devices available on the market. Is your company capable of supporting both iOS and Android devices? It depends on the mobile applications that your company deploys, it can be both iOS and Android, also whether these applications can run on iOS or Android, and how well they perform. This is essential to be aware of when drafting your bring your own device (BYOD) policy since your organization needs to know which devices its employees can bring into the workplace beforehand for safety and security measures.
2. Establish Ownership of Devices
If you are planning on deploying smartphone devices into your organizational infrastructure, one of the most important questions to clear across the organization is “who owns the devices?” Employee-owned devices have traditionally been owned strictly by enterprises in the past. However, having grown in popularity, BYOD and other deployment models such as corporate-owned, personally-enabled (COPE), and choose your own device (CYOD) are enabling the organization to hand over employees more responsibility. Your enterprise mobility strategy must specify who is responsible for the device, its data, and what liabilities should be associated with ownership.
3. Establish a Specific Policy for BYOD
For enterprises that allow the employees to bring their own smartphone devices, your enterprise mobility strategy must outline how the BYOD program will operate. In addition to bringing the smartphone devices and using them to store corporate data, the policies should also outline the consideration of who is responsible for accessing and approving apps to be downloaded and installed, who is responsible for onboarding devices, what regulations need to be followed by employees, and penalties for non-compliance.
4. Make use of the Cloud as an Ideal Platform
Mobility in the enterprise has grown quickly among industries and now forms the foundation of enterprise operations. The capabilities of cloud-based mobility solutions are what organizations most desire in their enterprise mobility strategy. The most common reason organizations look to the cloud is the unpredictable nature of mobile workloads, and cloud solutions are better equipped to handle the unexpected spikes that come with it.
Furthermore, cloud solutions are also frequently considered in the enterprise mobility strategy because back-end systems can be integrated with cloud solutions, and also the mobile workforce needs to be able to make spontaneous, real-time decisions based on the real-time data. As a typical organization has disparate data sources, hosting them on a neutral platform becomes more appealing. In addition, as enterprises become more concerned about mobile security, cloud options give them improved access to organizational data and traceability over remote devices.
5. Ensure that Device Restrictions are Reasonable and Fair
There are times when companies become so focused on the security of the organization-owned devices that they introduce measures that might hinder workforces from using those devices rather than helping them. The limiting of the Bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) policy, or prohibiting your mobile workforce from using company-owned devices for personal use, maybe a legitimate company policy decision during the drafting of enterprise mobility strategy, but keeping an eye on your workforce’s mobility usage can add to the avoiding of unforeseen repercussions.
General data protection regulation (GDPR) is one of the government regulations that businesses often have to contend with, so you are entitled to give importance to your business’s data, its security as well as monitor how your workforces are using the mobile devices for work and during work. Keeping your employees happy while maintaining a level of professionalism that makes sense to you requires a delicate balance in the enterprise mobility strategy.
6. Unified Platform is the Best Approach
In an enterprise mobility management strategy, a unified endpoint management platform incorporates more than just managing the deployment of devices to end-users. The approach also involves monitoring the use of all the dispersed devices centrally in a single console. A unified platform supports the management and monitoring of a wide range of devices including mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers, wearables, and even IoT devices connected to an enterprise environment.
By using a unified platform such as Scalefusion, you can eliminate the need for multiple technologies to be managed differently, allowing your IT department to streamline its manner of working. By managing all devices with one unified platform, also plugs the cybersecurity loophole.
1. Healthcare Industry
Enterprise mobility strategy can play a major role in the Healthcare industry. Enterprise mobility strategy enables the healthcare industry to record the patient’s data accurately with mobility solutions and smart devices for improved decision-making, effective medication, and diagnosis. The smartphones can further be locked down into single app mode or a multi-app mode for specific use-cases including online consultations, customer-facing centric devices, etc., using an MDM solution so that the mission-centric tasks are not diverted with unwanted content or applications. With EMM, the healthcare industry can embrace patient-centric models wherein the doctors can adopt virtual consultation sessions with patients with minimal severe diagnoses. This will not only save time and increase productivity but will also reflect better response time for treatment. Furthermore, all the data recorded will be digitized and the error in manual recordings of patient’s data will be eliminated.
Technology is also proving beneficial to the education industry, with students and teachers finding online learning management systems more convenient for obtaining and imparting education. A robust MDM solution can streamline the solid foundation for educators to promote a change-oriented mindset in the education industry. With the right mobile device management solution while devising enterprise mobility strategy, the IT admins can remotely track all student smartphone devices and ensure they are only used for learning; provide enhanced security to data, perform remote troubleshooting, and restrict access to blocked websites and applications.
Consumer goods and retail have been significantly impacted by enterprise mobility. The usage of mobile phone devices to serve the features of digital signage, mPOS, and check-out & billing has paved its way into the retail industry. Retail industry players strategize their enterprise mobility to execute operational activities; whereas they might also deploy smart mobile phones to on-field employees with layered security of corporate data and assets. With a Mobile Device Management solution in the enterprise mobility strategy, the mobile phone devices can be locked down into a single app or Kiosk mode with managed restrictions as per the respective mission of the goals to be achieved.
Putting it all together
An enterprise mobility strategy that delivers necessary security updates and mandates to secure and administer the fleet of mobile smartphone devices deployed across the organization is essential. Also, to keep track of and secure smartphone devices along with the organizational data contained within is prime too.
Scalefusion is a mobile device and endpoint management solution that caters to your EMM needs. The Enterprise Mobility Solution (EMM) of Scalefusion is an amalgamation of pertinent tools available for customization and usage for all the verticals across diversified domains despite the size be it small or medium enterprises or a large enterprise. With Scalefusion, your organization can be insured against all the risks associated with corporate-owned managed mobile phone devices, apps, and data. Scalefusion addresses the organizational boulders arising during the implementation of enterprise mobility across organizations and offers the features that directly address the pain points and empower you to confidently adapt to and utilize advancing mobile phone technologies.
Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints
Ayush Maskara is a Content Writer at Scalefusion. A media science graduate, a photographer, a fiction author, a storyteller, fiction manuscript editor, and an avid self-help reader, Ayush has been penning the creative wisdom for six years and have stepped into the IT domain for further exploration and staying awake with technological trends across the globe.