Mobile strategy can be a complicated arena, particularly when you actually begin to contemplate every element of the organization that may be affected today or, more importantly, in the future. Mobile is everywhere, and for the enterprise this obvious principle has become very apparent. Strategy now spans well beyond planning a Blackberry infrastructure for mobile email or a point solution for enabling a mobile application. Mobile strategy is now all of this and much more—from how you will maintain or transition your Blackberry infrastructure, to satisfying your mobile application requirements, to providing remote worker solutions supporting multiple devices and multiple operating systems. It can be an absolute minefield, and on top of this the expeditious mobile trends, technologies and relative solutions are constantly changing! Indeed the considerations for developing a mobile strategy are many, but here are six that may apply to yours in 2013:
- Exercise control. It has been impossible to ignore the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend. Many organizations will be clear on their BYOD policies and most likely have implemented some form of control in terms of a mobile device management solution. For those that have not and are considering the relative pros and cons, you must understand that it is not just a technology choice. Deploying the correct mix of HR policy, legal policy, technical control and security is key to the successful adoption of any BYOD initiative.
- Mobile device management (MDM) is changing. Implementing some form of traditional management of mobile device security policies is an obvious necessity and is easily provided by any of the mainstream MDM vendors. MDM is evolving and providing capabilities far beyond policy management as mobile-focused vendors from all disciplines (not just MDM) begin to take a piece of the mobile application management (MAM) pie. This additional functionality typically supports tailored application personas, enterprise application stores, integration and control of document-sharing solutions and application wrappers that control encryption, access privileges and secure data transmission.
- Solutions under lock and key. The security risks posed by the implementation of mobile technology are indeed significant, and careful thought and planning are needed to make sure all loopholes are identified and secured. Mobile solution security comes in many forms, and organizations must give specific thought to:
- Providing solutions for secure remote enterprise network access from a variety of operating system platforms.
- Moving beyond device-level IPSec VPN for secure mobile device communications, for example; application level SSL VPN or “VPN like” application tunnels.
- On-device endpoint protection including antimalware, antivirus detection and on-device firewall (specifically if you are dealing with Android).
- Device containerization in terms of only providing access to corporate data from within secure containers installed on the mobile device to provide data leakage prevention.
The considerations for a mobile strategy are always going to be relative to the challenges and opportunities you encounter within your enterprise. What is top priority for one is less so for another but the key is to make sure a consummate road map is constructed. IBM MobileFirst is ideally placed to help construct your strategy with a blend of services such as mobile infrastructure strategy and planning which can underpin the essence of your future mobile initiatives.