Six considerations for your mobile enterprise strategy in 2013
This blog post is contributed by David Judge, Technical Solutions Manager for Workplace and Mobile Enterprise Services.
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:
If it moves, it’s mobile! Although
this can be true of any inanimate object in the world, for the
enterprise I am referring to the blurring line between desktop and
mobile strategy. The fact is, laptops running Windows (or any
traditional desktop operating system) are still mobile devices and must
be considered under the same guise as the iOS, Android and other
“mobile” operating systems you manage. This convergence of mobile and
desktop strategy is in answer to the increasing user requirement for
corporate network access on any device, anywhere, anytime (within reason
of course). The foundations of this unified approach can be facilitated
through technologies including desktop virtualization and traditional
desktop management tools such as IBM Endpoint Manager that now incorporate the ability to manage mobile and desktop operating systems.What’s new? The answer to this
question will probably introduce hundreds of new technologies and
three-letter acronyms that we need to learn alongside additional
operating system updates for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. On top of
this, we’ll see significant releases in Blackberry 10 and Windows
Embedded 8 in 2013. Whether you choose to utilize these technologies or
not is likely a consideration dependent on your incumbent technology.
Blackberry 10 will bring a new user experience, containerization in an
enhanced version of Blackberry Balance and the ability to manage
multiple mobile operating systems from the Blackberry Enterprise Server.
Windows Embedded 8 will begin to appear on ruggedized handhelds,
creating another platform for future task worker mobile application
solutions.See the bigger picture.Over the
years it has been all too easy to only deliver point solutions for
mobile applications that silo data, and then to eventually require some
kind of horrible integration project to try and report on the disparate
data stores that these types of solutions create. Of course, as mobile
applications grow within the enterprise, so too does the amount of data
and the need to try to aggregate that data into a “single pane of glass”
that enterprises so prevalently desire. Enter big data, analytics and the mobile application platform.
These three concepts are not just buzzwords; they represent
opportunities for the enterprise to finally take control of its
cross-platform mobile application development and data. This data can
then be used to support and pioneer any number of multilevel strategies
and key business initiatives.
- 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”
- On-device endpoint protection including antimalware, antivirus
detection and on-device firewall (specifically if you are dealing with
- 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.
David Judge is a Technical Solutions Manager for Workplace and Mobile Enterprise Services and an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader. Follow David Judge on Twitter at @themobilejudge.