As the tide of enterprise mobility continues to rise, it has become apparent that there are by and large two general drivers behind the broad adoption of the technology.
The first driver is empowering end users, either as the result of end user demand or a desire to create a happier, more flexible workforce. This is where most companies start when it comes to mobility, especially those that tend to be cautious, giving more weight to the risks associated with new initiatives.
The second driver relates to achieving business objectives, such as improving competitiveness, increasing financial savings and enhancing operational efficiency. While some companies — particularly innovative organizations — start here, as mentioned most begin in the empowering end users phase and eventually arrive at the point where they look to mobile initiatives to achieve core business objectives.
According to Symantec’s 2013 State of Mobility Survey, leveraging mobility to meet business objectives can have a more dramatic impact on the bottom line. The reality is, however, that this does not always translate to happier and more committed employees without also pursuing end-user empowerment initiatives.
Regardless of which stage a company is in, most are all finding one thing in common: the enterprise mobility landscape is one of continual evolution. This includes not only core mobile technology itself — handsets, operating systems and apps — but also the solutions that help organizations manage mobility and protect their potentially sensitive data in an increasingly mobile world. This current period of innovation has led some organizations to fall into a dangerous trap.
Many companies have accepted mobility as the contemporary way of doing business and have implemented one or more mobile enablement initiatives. These range from purchasing corporate-liable devices for end users to allowing the use of personally-liable devices to some variation or combination of two.
However, they have taken a different approach to implementing the complementary solutions that will help them manage and secure the mobile devices connecting to their networks, and more importantly their data.
Rather than jumping in like they are doing with mobile enablement, they have chosen a wait and see attitude when it comes to the mobility security and management market. Herein lies the danger.
Because they have implemented mobility, but not the technology needed to manage and secure it, they are in a very precarious situation. It is akin to putting new tires on a car, but neglecting to tighten the lug nuts. Only half the job is done and eventually the outcome will likely not be good.
These organizations should be commended for the steps they are taking towards mobilizing their employees and businesses, but they need to realize that the technology exists today to help them take full advantage of secure mobility. Among these solutions are mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM).
MDM provides businesses with control over complete devices and, as such, allows them to enforce policies to ensure devices are password protected and also provide the ability to remotely lock or wipe devices in the event of a loss or theft. MDM is ideal for corporate-owned devices in which complete control is desirable, like single-function operational devices and personal devices with special circumstances.
MAM technology, on the other hand, allows companies to wrap their individual corporate apps and the data tied to them in their own security and management layers, giving enterprises complete control of their apps and data while leaving the rest of user-owned devices untouched.
Complete Your Strategy
Both MDM and MAM should be part of a complete enterprise mobility strategy. The combined features of these technologies are also available as one comprehensive solution, allowing companies to leverage the benefits of each without the complexity of multiple consoles.
In short, yes, mobility is evolving. Yes, the technology to manage and secure mobility is responding to this evolution. However, waiting for a conclusion to the ongoing technology evolution is ill-advised and may prevent companies from fully taking advantage of mobility with the level of security required to mitigate the risks. The time has come to implement a complete enterprise mobility strategy.