The Time to Develop an Enterprise Mobility Strategy Is NOW

Mobility. Cloud. BYOD. Virtualization technologies. Big Data. Social. These keywords will be the buzzwords of this decade as businesses undergo significant transformations in the way employees, stakeholders and customers work and communicate.

Today, SMBs are competing with big players as they leverage cloud technology. Markets are constantly getting reinvented with changing consumer demands and fast-paced technological evolution. Social media is creating Big Data which is a gold mine for business analysis that’s helping companies maximize marketing impact and sales and manage brand reputation. The ubiquity and portability of mobile devices is making anytime, anywhere access to information a given in corporate circles, encouraging the growth and adoption of virtualization technologies, and spurring large scale development of mobile applications.

However, the excitement of realizing the massive potential of enterprise mobility in communication, learning and development, HR, marketing and sales, and other functions of an organization is accompanied by trepidation over security. IT teams are allotted the complicated and challenging task of managing the disparate mobile devices coming into the organization, securing the data on these devices, and ensuring regulatory and legal compliance.

It’s a tall order but business heads can bring clarity and transparency into the enterprise mobility approach by devising a comprehensive, clear and well thought out enterprise mobility strategy.

Developing an enterprise mobility strategy

All aspects of mobility should be considered while developing a strategy. This can be achieved by involving members from all business functions in brainstorming sessions to collate requirements, concerns, security issues, end user feedback, and possible solutions and ideas.

Furthermore, decision makers must do the following:

Observe the consumer landscape:

Consumerization has played a big part in shaping the BYOD trend, company policies and even the way mobile security is handled by IT departments. It is critical to understand what consumers (customers and employees) look for in mobile solutions (specific needs such as location based services, NFC, barcode scanning, etc.) and the kind of devices they use.

Aim for technology independence:

With disparate mobile operating systems entering the market, the cost of developing native applications is soaring. Surveys indicate that more than 60% of mobile application developers have shown an interest in HTML5 – the web application development language that frees them of mobile OS and vendor restrictions. Native apps will stay as they offer greater sophistication but HTML5 will see greater adoption.

Look at BYOD as a productivity tool rather than a cost saver:

Many companies are going the BYOD way for the sake of productivity. With the right security mechanisms in place, BYOD may not be a cheap option but it will show returns in two or more years.

Define the scope of enterprise mobility:

Validate what functions will benefit from mobility – advertising, marketing, sales, HR, etc. rather than proceeding blindly. Find out what different business functions expect from a mobile solution and understand challenges specific to their work.

Implementing security:

Enterprises should look at Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) solutions to secure and manage the organization’s devices and data.

Data on cloud or devices:

With many enterprises moving infrastructure and systems to the cloud, mobile data may also go to the cloud. This will allow users to access data from any device, anytime, anywhere.

Virtualization and Cloud:

Both virtualization and cloud services will become more specialized in the future, and will add value to mobility offerings.

Big data and Social:

Big data analysis generates intelligence that can add value to your mobile initiatives. With access to internal or external social networks on mobile, workers can keep track of what consumers are saying about their brand, enhance relationships, and discover opportunities.

Enterprise mobility is like a tidal wave that every business must ride or get swept under. According to Gartner, mobility will be a trillion dollar business by 2014. Analysts further predict that smartphones and tablets in the enterprise will exceed the 1 billion mark in 2013 with iOS and Android being the strongest contributors, followed by Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

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