Enterprise Mobility is - Work Anytime From Anywhere

Atul Bhatia, VP- IT, Matrix Cellular (International) Services Ltd.

Mobility is no more used just for internal employees for productivity or business operations support but also as a major stream to generate revenues. 

As mobile has reached to almost every hand hence enterprises have started extending mobility to both the customers – internal and external. Internal customers are employees accessing enterprise applications and tools for their daily office work while external customers, who are consumers, are being offered company’s products and services on mobile. Mobile has completely shifted the expectations of consumers as they want to have anything they need quickly.

Enterprise mobility definitely improves the productivity of employees and enterprise as well but it leads to security risks of enterprise data. As you access emails and cloud storage, and download files on mobile device on which corporate security is not enforced then data on the device becomes a risk. Since compromising enterprise data is not acceptable as it does not impact only financials but also the credibility of the company. Hence Enterprise Mobility Governance becomes vital for any organization using Mobility. The governance of mobility should revolve around people, policies and processes. Strong IT policies need to be created and it also calls for Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM). 

EMM protects employees from themselves as out of office generally connection is not secured and leads to putting not only personal data on risk but also critical and confidential data of enterprise. EMM has mainly 3 components – Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Information Management (MIM).

MDM is required to manage mobile device, if the device is owned and configured by company then protection through MDM ensures proper device management and enforcement of IT policies e.g. locking the device remotely, wiping data from device remotely, enterprise VPN, pushing anti-virus, virus scanning etc. The problem is when employee brings his own device and uses is for office work along with personal data and usage, which is configured as per company policy and when device is lost then wiping the data remotely will also wipe out his personal data. The best example of this is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) which is being embraced by companies now. 

MAM manages Applications on Mobile devices. Which applications are allowed or restricted can be controlled from backend through MAM. It allows IT admins to whitelist and blacklist the applications based on company’s requirements. Also it helps to define and maintain controlled access to employees and customers for data exchange, it connects mobiles to back-end servers where data is hosted.

MIM ensures that data on the mobile is secured which is very essential for any organization. It encrypts the data and makes is accessible with strong password only. Encryption and access methodology will differ based on type of OS.

These 3 components must be addressed carefully and together for effective Enterprise Mobile Management and to ensure security is covered from all corners on mobile devices. 

Major Challenges:
Security & privacy concerns–need strong IT policies and regular monitoring of compliance. Also need to create a container within mobile device to keep personal and official data separately along with data encryption. Without addressing security concerns, enterprise will lose customer’s confidence and will damage enterprise reputation as well.
Network– to work on mobile based applications, a better network is required to connect mobiles to enterprise servers to perform and support operations. At office, employees can use office Wi-Fi but while travelling they need to rely on either public Wi-Fi or data packs which at times is poor.
Quality apps– due to variety of devices, enterprises need to create applications which can be supported on maximum numbers of devices/OS. Creation and maintaining these multiplatform applications is a concern due to fast upgrade of OS versions and making the app compatible to support these versions.

Understanding the needs of customers and employees is very important for any successful Mobility solution. Access the opportunities, revenues, complexity, cost, ROI, use cases and user experience for sure to decide whether to have Native or Hybrid App.

Overall enterprises are quickly inclining towards going mobile with a sophisticated approach and mindset, leaving legacy behind and considering the same as a new stream for business expansion by reaching out to customers, improvised productivity, augmented revenue and operational efficiency. Enterprises having mobile based operations make them stand front to the customers. Also Cloud Computing and IOT are expected to take enterprise mobility to the next level where it will open immense opportunity for Enterprise Mobility and its innovation.