Mobility is no longer just a fringe concern of a modern enterprise business – it’s now a major aspect of what most IT departments take care of.
In the past, IT departments could control which devices had access to networks, as well as physically which offices or remote locations could log in to the enterprise network. With mobile and remote working, the lines between work and personal networks have blurred to the point of being nearly indistinguishable. Employees take laptops home at the end of the day, check emails from their personal cell phones, or use tablets as aids for presentations at other companies.
Work no longer happens only at work.
Between flexible hours, working remotely, and the ease of using mobile devices for many work-related needs, employees can now work from anywhere.
Some companies cope with the brutal pace of mobile and technological innovation by cobbling together their solutions piecemeal as a particular need or problem arises. These companies squeak by with “good enough” mobility management, often to the detriment of their employees’ productivity and the size of their mobile telecom bills.
Other companies have recognized that it’s time to move on from the “anything goes” mentality of 2013. In technology, three years is a lifetime– and what worked then doesn’t work now.
They know their mobile ecosystem needs to look to the future. That ecosystems need to be adaptable and integrate neatly with many carriers, operating systems, while also being easy to deploy, update, and manage at a high level. They also have an eye to cost, knowing that effective, strategic enterprise mobility management is more than just remaining competitive – it saves them money, too.
Saving money is always a top concern, but there’s a whole lot more that goes into managing today’s mobile workforce. Availability, efficiency, having the right apps, instituting a mobile policy, securing devices and data, and the never-ending cycle of replacing or recycling devices all necessitate a comprehensive approach and management system that can cope a changing environment.
And we haven’t even started to talk about all of the new sorts of devices that come into play with The Internet of Things!
How do mobile-centric companies differ in how they approach their enterprise mobility management, especially compared to those who are making do with EMM that’s just "good enough for now"?
Best-in-class companies have taken the time to map out (or seek professional help to map out) a plan. They know which platforms their business is able or willing to support. Above and beyond a preference for Apple vs Android, it’s important to know the apps your business will use, how the apps integrate with cell phones, tablets, or desktop computers.
What kind of security procedures do they need to have in place, and how well can they follow those procedures within each platform?
Do they have a BYOD, corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE), or corporate-liable environment, or a mix?
How do your support your workers when they have challenges with their devices, or need a replacement? Do you know who is doing what and what they are spending? How quickly can you generate and see reports on data usage, plans, or key identifiers for your telecom spend?
Future minded companies are also aware of the three basic protection levels they need to maintain:
1. Protecting the individual user and device
2. Protecting access to their enterprise network
3. Protecting enterprise data as a whole
A modern enterprise mobility strategy balances these protection needs against productivity, and insights into management.
They look for and demand a simple enrollment for all platforms, allowing both administrators and end users to register devices as needed. Admins have a single console they can use for visibility into all enrolled devices, whether they’re corporate owned, employee owned, or shared, regardless of platform or device type.
Adaptive, future-minded enterprise mobility management allows admins to see real-time data on enrolled devices, as well as set policies, restrictions, or update enterprise settings without having to involve the end user at every step.
Not all companies are able or willing to dedicate the resources internally to enabling their IT team to have staff on hand that take care of all of these tasks. When comparing the cost of your own in-house team to outsourced telecom expense management, it often makes more sense to outsource the work.
Within your company, you’ll need to consider what it would take for you to bring your current EMM up to speed – do you have the resources, budget, or time to completely overhaul how you manage mobility? Do you really want to have to dedicate ongoing staff to the never ending job of keeping your management system up to speed?
It’s not just managing mobile devices, either. A best-in-class communications lifecycle management service will incorporate fixed and mobile, allowing for a comprehensive view of all aspects of your company’s telecom use. The software to do this updates or changes as frequently as every 3 to 6 months; can your IT team keep up?
It’s often more economical, as well as more practical, to outsource the work to a professional communications lifecycle management company with an integrated system. A team of professionals who live and breathe both mobile and fixed telecom will know all the ins and outs of the trade. They’ll keep your bills down, provide a centralized view of spend and usage, be your POC for carriers, and all of your helpdesk support needs will be handled by their capable staff.
Ultimately, your enterprise needs to be forward thinking rather than good enough at mobility management is to plan. That’s the big difference between the two – a future minded company knows they can’t effectively cope with changing technological needs without a plan in place to do so.
If you’d like a free checklist to identify if your company’s mobility management is future-minded, or just “good enough”, you can click below to have it sent to you!