By Allie Philpin
As organisations become more accepting of the mobile environment – employees for a more collaborative workplace, the reduction of costs and increase in productivity, a better customer experience – they are also considering outsourcing to help them handle internal transformation and change management. But to ensure that enterprise mobility is successful for you, here are 6 steps that, according to Cisco, are essential in taking advantage of all that mobility has to offer.
1. Create an enterprise mobile strategy – whether mobile devices are issued by the company or employees use their personal devices, it is important that you have developed an enterprise mobile strategy. Part of that strategy is to define what you want mobility to achieve for your organisation, explaining the challenges to be faced and how mobility can help solve issues, the mobility solutions that will be used, define the departments that will be using mobile devices, and when the mobile initiative will be deployed. You will also need to consider security of data within the data centre, infrastructures, network capabilities and communications.
2. Virtualisation optimisation – using virtual desktops and other virtualisation solutions will greatly improve productivity and collaboration, including telepresence and video conferencing. Assess your users skills and experience in utilising virtualisation in the workspace, ensuring training is delivered where needed prior to deployment. To enable a ‘work from anywhere, anytime’ culture requires ongoing collaboration and communication within a single interface, providing a unified experience, but this needs allocation of the right resources and careful planning.
3. Get ready for a significant rise in mobile devices! – you thought there were a lot of mobile devices being used within your enterprise before deployment; watch this increase! In a recent Cisco survey of 600 IT leaders in enterprises covering 18 industries, it was found that 78% of workers (white collar) use mobile devices for work purposes to control their work environment; that IT departments have been the most affected by the rise in mobility; and that whilst BYOD brings great benefits, it also brings its challenges! Organisations are starting to realise that a different approach is needed, a holistic approach, that is scalable and encompasses virtualisation, security, mobility and policy management, and when combined with a unified network infrastructure, wired, wireless and cellular networks are facilitated.
4. Decide on your application strategy – at the moment, security within the mobile environment is a bit of an ‘all or nothing’ strategy; you either have access to all corporate resources, or restricted access to email and calendars. But as mobility moves in to next-generation solutions, and with the increase in the use of the cloud, many organisations are starting to think of hosting their applications in an app store, thereby securing the network and its connected devices. A comprehensive app store should have the capabilities of dealing with more than basic malware protection; it should also be able to handle mobile threat management, vulnerability tracking and risk intelligence, validating and checking apps using business rules and enterprise security policies.
5. Secure your data, your network, and your devices! – there have been a range of surveys over the past few years that demonstrate that security of corporate data on mobile devices is not considered, opening up the possibility of serious breaches by an employee-owned device, often inadvertently. Put in place comprehensive policies, diverting secure capability and access control to the end device, and partitioning personal data from corporate data. It is essential that IT administrators and management have clear visibility into all mobile devices within the enterprise.
6. Improve the end-user experience and productivity – you can put all the technology, policies, plans and strategies in place to create the ideal mobile enterprise, but unless you have your workforce on board and are able to develop a change in the organisation’s culture, productivity and the end-user experience will not improve. BYOD needs to be actively embraced; organisations need to make mobile capabilities available, and offer more to their workforce to encourage adoption of mobile strategies and deployments.
Business processes can be transformed; collaboration and communication can be greatly improved; productivity is increased; a mobile working environment is the way of the future in today’s business world, but it takes careful planning.