Most employees use their mobile devices for work-related purposes throughout the workweek and frequently during the weekend. More and more businesses, educational institutions and healthcare organizations are investing large percentages of their IT budgets on mobility initiatives.
Organizations may choose to provide mobile devices, which costs more but provides high levels of control and security, or institute bring your own device (BYOD) programs, which are cost-effective but more complex to administer. Whichever model they choose, organizations must develop solutions for such challenges as device management, end user experience, mobile applications, scaling and security.
Some of the benefits of secure access to corporate applications and data from anywhere are:
More flexible work models make it easier to access the data, applications, tools and people that employees need to do their jobs from any location, increasing their productivity and reducing the amount of downtime due to weather emergencies, public transit problems or other events that might keep them out of the office.
Mobility provides field workers with secure access to applications and databases, allowing them to eliminate trips back and forth to the office and duplicate data entry tasks. The ability to work from any location increases connection to the employer and improves both retention and recruitment.
The benefits of mobility come with challenges and risks; mobile devices and programs are more complex to deploy and manage than familiar wired technologies and environments. Enterprise mobility flips the traditional top-down model of enterprise IT control on its head, transferring much of the control of devices, apps and services to the end user—and in the process, creating new security and management challenges.
Security and management tools help organizations rise to the challenge. Virtual private network (VPN) access ensures the security of data transmissions and other network transactions and allows organizations to track and monitor network traffic.
Easy-to-use mobile management tools for employer-provided or employee-owned devices provide centralized and remote management, monitoring and security for all types of mobile devices, applications and at-rest or in-transit data. For example, they can be used to lock down or wipe a stolen or lost device, provide role-based access to data and applications, troubleshoot device or application problems and upgrade software and operating systems.
Enterprise mobility involves more than handing out devices and deploying applications. Proper planning and implementation involves assessing and fine-tuning technology architectures, software platforms and back-end applications and databases.