It’s all about perception, isn’t it? Since the dot.com era, the ‘mom and pop’ shop has tried to appear larger and more established to convey stability and credibility. Large companies long for the deeper relationships with customers that small companies have. Mobility is an unprecedented game-changer, allowing your business to alter market perception – here’s how. Read more
Mobility is an essential part of today’s workforce. To hear of an employee who does not have access to corporate email remotely is nearly unheard of. According to Gartner, worldwide mobile voice and data revenue will exceed one trillion dollars a year by 2014. The desire and necessity for increased mobility has brought about drastic changes in the new corporate landscape: the desire to utilize a device of their choosing, and the necessity to use this mobility to attract a younger, more tech-savvy workforce. Being chained to one’s desk has quickly become a thing of the past, while both mobility and productivity are on the upswing. A study performed by Ipso-Reid shows that BlackBerry smartphone users can turn 53 minutes of downtime into productive work time each day, increasing overall productivity by nearly 30%. Increased workforce mobility has brought about many changes within the enterprise, permanently altering the terrain of the corporate landscape.
There are obvious changes that mobility impacts upon the corporate environment, and some not-so-obvious effects.
- Cost Savings
- Office Equipment – because a combination of laptops, tablets, and smartphones can more than compensate for a desktop computer and land line phone, the savings on office equipment is straight forward. In the past, many corporations have overspent in providing workers both a laptop and desktop computer, in addition to a land line and cellular telephone. Increased mobility eliminates the need for unnecessary equipment.
- Office Space – in an economy where every cent of cost savings is precious, managers can realize returns by downgrading or even eliminating office space.
- Time Saving – Employees without a commute typically start work earlier and finish work later.
- Increased Employee Responsiveness – mobile equipment enables employees the ability to respond more immediately to customer inquiries, complaints, and order fulfillment.
- Speed of Decision Making – reaching employees nearly anywhere, at nearly anytime, greatly reduces critical decision making time.
- Expedited Issue Resolution – nothing strengthens customer retention than the expedited response to problems and customer issues. Increased mobility equates to increased accessibility.
- Cost savings on commuting – mobility is greener when taking vehicle emissions and gas necessary for a daily commute to the office into account.
- Security Risks – adopting a mobility strategy entrusts employees to respect corporate data and adhere to security standards.
- Network and Customer Data Security Concerns – allowing employees the ability to access highly confidential customer information poses a serious security risk without the appropriate enforceable policies. Additionally, opening up secure corporate networks, whether via VPN or other mechanism, exposes the enterprise to a cornucopia of nightmarish security threats.
- Lack of Mobile Device Management , or MDM Policies – not widely adopted or implemented
- Employees disconnected from teams and corporate environment
- Lack of Technical Support for Mobile Employees
Whether the benefits outweigh the negatives, there is no question that mobility has drastically transformed corporate culture. Taking advantage of the cost savings, cultural benefits, and recruiting tools a mobile work policy allows will no doubt keep top talent and attract fresh, new talent to the enterprise. Reap the benefits of mobility with solid Mobile Device Management and enforceable mobile security protocols.
 Gartner, Gartner Says Mobility will be a Trillion Dollar Business by 2014, October 21, 2010
 Durso, James, Going Mobile: Redefining the Meaning of Workforce Mobility, October 13, 2010
Image courtesy of [nirots] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Mobile Device Management (MDM) is fast becoming the acronym of the moment as organizations struggle to deal with the ubiquity of mobile devices amongst their workforce. As workers are more and more vocal in their desire to utilize their own devices in the workplace, security management becomes crucial in protecting the organization’s data. Mobile Device Management (MDM) software monitors, manages and supports mobile devices deployed across mobile operators, service providers and enterprises.
“The era of fully supporting company-owned devices is giving way to an era of managed diversity in which tiered support for employee-owned, consumer-class devices is the norm. With the unabated growth of consumerization, IT leaders need to implement MDM to manage corporate and employee-owned devices, and assign employee-owned, consumer-class devices, and assign responsibilities inside IT departments for the service, application and security of all these devices.” – Terrence Cosgrove, Gartner
MDM functionality typically includes over-the-air distribution of applications, data and configuration settings for all types of mobile devices, including mobile phones, smartphones, tablet computers, etc., and apply to both company-owned and employee-owned (BYOD) devices across the enterprise or mobile devices owned by consumers. Let’s take a look at the specific benefits.
Implementing a well thought out MDM policy will far outweigh the costs of doing nothing. Without some sort of controlled MDM, companies will likely see reduced user productivity (if the IT standard does not suit the user’s needs), higher noncompliance costs incurred by users who circumvent IT standards, and the cost of users’ time and efforts in attempt to support themselves, increasing indirect costs. An organization must enforce a unified security policy that incorporates control and the ability to remotely manage all supported devices. The benefits of implementing MDM include:
- Remotely support all employee owned and company owned devices. Support and updates can be done over the air (OTA), thus enabling employees freedom with corporate backing.
- Ability to remotely wipe clean lost or stolen devices. The MDM platform will enable security teams to quickly remove confidential corporate information from lost devices, regardless of location.
- Control and direct what applications are allowed and which are restricted. Remote monitoring of mobile devices will continue to ensure corporate security is not jeopardized by unauthorized apps.
- Maintain detailed record of user device statistics. Employee usage statistics can be very beneficial when reviewing employees for performance, productivity, cost, or reprimand.
- Ability to automatically push software updates to devices remotely. Devices can be automatically and uniformly updated without impeding on employee’s time.
- Ensure employee devices are password protected. MDM enables security teams to remotely manage passwords to ensure that information is protected at all times.
- Employees can choose their own device of liking. Staffs utilizing their device of choice are more likely to enjoy working on it. Forcing a particular device, such as a BlackBerry, may hinder productivity.
- Reduce employee downtime and cost per user. Since security and updates are managed over the air, employees are not inconvenienced with schedule intrusions.
MDM does require a harmonization between enterprise operations, IT, and security teams to ensure that mobile device architectures match overall corporate security policies, but with BYOD becoming more of the norm within organizations, an effective optimization platform is vital to protect security while proliferating productivity.
 Wikipedia, 2012, Mobile Device Management-Definition
 Finneran, Michael, BYOD Requires Mobile Device Management, Information Weekly Mobility, May 7, 2011
 The Enterprise Innovator, Gartner Says Enterprise Mobility Management is Essential for IT Success, May 9, 2012
Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net