The evolution of enterprise mobility

business mobility playbook

The never-ending variety of mobile devices is affecting the enterprise like never before. Gone are the days of simply choosing between a Blackberry, laptop or dongle, and waving goodbye to the double device dilemma – today many people carry one phone for work and one for personal use so they’re constantly juggling between their work and personal lives and devices.

Consumers are purchasing the latest iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, tablet or laptop on their own, and requesting that the IT department support it for work, too. CIOs and their teams are struggling to meet such demand. A study by Good Technology and independent research firm Vanson Bourne found that whilst more than half of IT directors in large enterprises feel pressure to support personal devices at work, only 10 percent currently do so in a comprehensive way.

‘One mobile device for everything’ nirvana

Agile businesses now connect employees, partners, and suppliers—no matter how remote—via Intranets and/or email. All with the appropriate security and control. At least that’s the hope.

The reality is that end users routinely disregard IT policies (if they exist), choosing instead to adopt whichever device they believe has the features that will satisfy their unique workplace and personal needs. At one time or another, most of us have fallen afoul of these rules without even realising. Just think, have you ever forwarded a work document to your personal email account?

Eighty percent of IT departments now receive requests to implement email support on personal mobile devices. Yet half of businesses don’t allow the use of personal devices at work due to concerns about security and lack of control. Seventy percent of companies interviewed by Vanson Bourne and Good Technology said that they would allow personal devices to be used in the workplace if there were no security risks. IT directors also suggested concerns about lack of productivity due to distractions and the time involved in the management and configuration of the devices.

Whatever the reason, there is a large gap between employee demand and the willingness of IT departments to embrace the shared personal/work mobile device model.

Helping make the CIO a hero among the masses

Each day the CIO and his or her team get caught in the middle, refereeing the demands of the executives and board with the needs of the company. Resellers must act as the CIO’s linesman, advising on the ideal solution that makes everyone happy. In the case of enterprise mobility, it goes beyond recommending mobile devices and moves to towards the provision of software which can ensure secure email and data access and delivery.

IT departments need to overcome the challenge of the sheer diversity of devices entering the workplace, and how to plan device management and security policies across those platforms. CIOs can no longer ignore this mobile tsunami and risk being the troll under the bridge who won’t let mobile devices pass through. This represents a great opportunity for the channel.

A smart business focuses on protecting enterprise data integrity—and employee privacy—on popular mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones, and other new form factors.

Hidden benefits that the CIO can reap by embracing this trend

One of the quickest and least painful ways to reduce a company’s annual budget by more than $1m a year is to change its mobile phone policy. Specifically by allowing employees to use their own smart phones and tablets for work. By embracing the personal/corporate liable mobile model, business can evolve enterprise mobility from a cost center to a profit driver.

As well as the financial benefits gained, businesses embracing this mobile enterprise model will see improved productivity and increased employee satisfaction: people can work where they want, when they want, and get the job done.

With mobility becoming increasingly present in the enterprise, there has never been a better time for the channel to offer up added value to customers. By advising them on solutions that protect enterprise data integrity – and employee privacy – on popular mobile devices channel vendors can strengthen relationships and open up the possibilities to upsell relevant software.


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