The way ahead
A study done by Gartner has listed the trends that will shape enterprise mobility in the near future:
- Identity and access management (IAM) Enterprises must be able to authenticate users and grant access to appropriate business resources.
- Security and risk Mobile users often access sensitive applications and data that may be stored on the device or in a private/public cloud. There are many cross-platform security controls, such as authentication, encryption, device wipe and anti-malware.
- Mobile app development User Experience (UX) has become the overriding measure of success for virtually every mobility project. Although most developers implicitly understand they must deliver a great UX for business-to-consumer (B2C) apps, the same is not true for business-to-employee (B2E).
- Collaboration and content Devices are changing how people communicate, collaborate, create content and use social software. Three issues IT departments commonly confront are: Dealing with iPads in the enterprise – apps that users need may differ from those on a traditional desktop, especially as iPads tend to be used for text consumption, not creation. Fixing the “Dropbox problem” – many employees use consumer-oriented file synchronization solutions such as Dropbox, to ensure they have up-to-date files on all their devices, potentially putting enterprise information at risk. The relationship between mobile and social software – most knowledge workers can benefit from greater use of mobile-enabled enterprise social networks.
- Infrastructure – Many users are pushing IT to deploy a pervasive wireless infrastructure that serves both business and personal devices, while expecting wireless LANs (WLAN) to provide fast, predictable behavior, just like a wired LAN. As enterprises increasingly rely on WLANs for mission-critical communication, challenges of network design, network management and problem diagnosis become more complex. Unfortunately, many WLANs were not designed to provide mission-critical services and are plagued with issues such as poor performance, insufficient coverage or lack of service for employee personal devices.
Management and BYOD – BYOD is the biggest change in client computing since the introduction of the PC. Gartner research indicates 38 percent of surveyed CIOs will cease to provide personal devices to their employees by 2016. However, IT is reluctantly embracing BYOD policies that satisfy the relentless employee demand to use personally owned devices. The implementation of BYOD programs exacerbates the challenges of information security, device management and workspace delivery.
Enterprise mobility is no longer optional. The primary advantage of enterprise mobility is the agility it provides for critical business operations. Embracing mobility solutions to improve productivity, customer satisfaction and gaining competitive advantage will however require enterprises to make tradeoffs with the costs associated and security risks involved. The crucial needs will be to integrate business needs with technology requirements and allowing technology consumerisation with adequate control. Eventually, adoption will be a critical requirement and will have to be evaluated by analyzing the total cost of ownership which will provide a view of the long term benefits it provides in a technology-centric future.