Written by Phil Jones, Group Managing Director – 14th June 2016
Consider these four Enterprise Mobility related stats:
- 29% of employees use three or more devices, use several apps and and work from many different locations
- 80% of employees admit they use non-approved apps at work
- 67% of employees who use a smartphone at work chose it themselves
- 70% of employees who use a tablet for work chose it themselves
The catchphrase “work from anywhere on any device” is now the standard for most businesses in a mobile and cloud-first world.
Employees now expect to use a variety of devices in the workplace with constant access to the applications they need. Terms like bring your own device (BYOD) and enterprise mobility (EM) aren’t just buzzwords anymore, they’re an important part of any IT strategy. In case you are not already familiar with BYOD adoption, it aims to lower company costs and empowers employees to work more efficiently as they are using familiar personal devices. Our recent blog explores BYOD in more detail.
To address the common Enterprise Mobility (EM) challenges, we explore the four core elements that help form an effective Enterprise Mobility strategy:
1: The Users
The most important elements of an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution are the employees. Without them, the costs and IT infrastructure to enable Enterprise Mobility are meaningless.
Consider the needs of these five typical employee personas within your strategy:
- Executives – They expect the company to buy them whatever device they want to use at work. For this reason, executives aren’t likely to be BYOD adopters.
- Mobile workers – They encompass a large group of employees that are accustomed to using multiple devices at work. BYOD is adopted by them.
- Technical field workers – They require a robust device to perform their work. Usually they use line of business (LOB) applications, emails and enter data into customer relationship management (CRM) tools. BYOD may be adopted by them but they will likely use their company device.
- Desk-bound information workers – They use a variety of devices, from taking notes in meetings on their own devices to potentially wanting to use their own machines while in the workplace, these users are likely to drive most of the BYOD adoptions in the company.
- Remote information workers. They look to optimise their workspace, blending personal priorities with company priorities. BYOD may be adopted by some of them.
2: Enterprise Mobility Device Management
The rise in Enterprise Mobility means IT departments are now tasked with managing a multitude of different devices and operating systems to safeguard their business data and manage employee productivity.
Here are three common scenarios where BYOD often puts businesses at risk and we recommend adding the answers to these questions within your strategy.
- Loss or theft of mobile devices – What happens is the device is lost or stolen? How do you ensure that company data on the device remains secure? How do you manage a data breach – especially if the device is used by other family members in the evenings when the employee is at home?
- Sale of personal mobile devices – How do you ensure all company data is sufficiency wiped from the device before it’s sold or recycled?
- Employee resignation – How do you ensure that access to company data is restricted should the employee suddenly leave? How do you ensure that company data is not stolen? This is high risk for sales professionals who often attempt to take client contacts with them when they leave.
3: The Apps
Apps are the main gateway to company information for many employees on their personal devices. When developing the App part of your Enterprise Mobility Management strategy we suggest you include the below:
- Define which apps will be made available for the users to consume using their personal devices
- Validate if those apps need any type of adjustment to correctly run on different mobile and tablet operating systems eg. IOS/Android/Windows phone
- Assess possible threats on each app that will be available for mobile users and verify if there is any flaw that can lead to a security risk
- Mitigate potential flaws by fixing the root cause of the problem or adding counter measures that will reduce the risk
- Verify how these apps will be available for users’ consumption from each of the commonly used devices
- Include a list of unauthorised third party apps that are not to be used to access company data
4: The Data at risk
Working from a mobile device from any location means employees can now access sensitive corporate data on their personal devices. Understanding how data is stored on devices and how data is protected in transit is critical when planning an EMM strategy.
An effective Enterprise Mobility strategy should include the below sections:
- Security to protect sensitive data
- Data encryption to protect files
- Safety policies that control access and reporting
- Multifactor authentication (MFA) or a similar level of extra authentication
- Business-driven policies for data protection
- Classification of data by sensitivity and business impact
- Access control to data based on identity and role
Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite is a great Enterprise Mobility Management tool that we have implemented for many of our clients over the past year to help manage the above core security concerns and a multitude of others relating to BYOD.
As Microsoft Gold partners, we are specialists in cloud solutions and would be happy to discuss your Enterprise Mobility needs in more detail. Please get in touch to find out more about this powerful tool and the other options available to your business.
Stats source – Microsoft