Forrester says that the spending of small and mid-sized businesses on cloud solutions is expected to grow 20% in the next five years. Experts observe that businesses are able to fund new activities (such as better customer service) because of the time and money saved by using cloud.
Using cloud-hosted services exposes an enterprise to a host of different security risks that need to be addressed by the service provider. The 2013 Forrsights Hardware Survey from Forrester Research observes that 73% of IT decision makers were concerned about public cloud security while 51% were concerned about their own private cloud security.
Device synchronisation While the focus is on mobile devices, it is important to note that the synchronisation of all devices is vital. Mobile usage has globally increased, but laptops have their distinct advantages and are not going to disappear. An understanding of and synchronisation between different devices (tablets, laptops, desktops, smart phones) is therefore essential for smooth deployment of mobility. Having a security policy that will cover employee-owned devices as well as those which the organisation has invested in is therefore a challenge that will need addressing.
It isn’t just the devices that need integrating — the networks have to be integrated as well to ensure that applications can provide results effectively on both the WLAN and LAN. It would suit companies to keep a clear layout to have a seamless infrastructure.
Enterprise Mobility: The Challenges Security: The most pressing challenge The nature and applications of enterprise mobility keep evolving, and there is a constant struggle between the usability and security of data. Enterprises must take the approach of monitoring, controlling and protecting with device-oriented, app-oriented and even network-oriented security.
There are of course measures such as the remote wipe option in case the device is stolen or lost; others include the encryption of data and password protection. Above all, the organisation must remember that enabling information access to the right person at the right time is vital to the business.
Mobile applications operate very quickly, and may be available to the end-user before the IT department can centrally manage the security system. One of the choices for the CIO is to have well-programmed device management systems to work seamlessly with application programming interfaces so that the data is easily usable across various devices securely without additional labor involved.
Costs: The million dollar question While the savings and flexibility of handheld devices, higher return on investment than that by legacy systems and the quicker response time to customers boost the case for mobility and are encouraging CIOs to implement mobility solutions at enterprises, complexity of support and the costs associated coupled with limited IT budgets are delaying the adoption.
Enterprise mobility costs are often overlooked at the planning stages. BYOD incurs mobile reimbursement costs as a result of anywhere anytime work policy coupled with international travel as well as the cost of supporting those devices. Numerous business use cases like this are ignored at the planning stage and result in unexpected enterprise mobility cost overruns. Additionally, huge costs are incurred for development, support and maintenance of enterprise applications thus eating into the bottom lines.
The TCO approach With enterprise mobility at the strategic centre of business, the cost and risk issue is not an either/or situation. Rather, it is a fine balance of all factors and making the most appropriate informed choices suitable to the business. Enterprises should also calculate the cost of ignoring such a business development tool in a highly competitive market. The ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ of enterprise mobility will evaluate the costs of enterprise mobility to give a picture of profitability over time. Apart from the direct costs of enterprise mobility adoption, the impact on indirect costs like the costs of customer acquisition and relationship management, opportunity costs of not deploying mobility and overall economic value added need to be studied.