Enterprise Mobility Administration: Some Clever Solutions

Making a decision on implementing mobile-enabling solutions and bringing about the required changes in order to create conducive environment is only the beginning of enterprise mobility. What is important is to set up a good, efficient and reliable mobility administration system in place. This will ensure continued control over mobile-enabling activities and the associated areas. Here are a few solutions that stand out as imperative for optimal performance of any mobile-enabling solution.

Mobile Virtual Private Network (m-VPN)

A mobile VPN created apart from enterprise and other VPNs, can pave the way for reliable and secure connectivity tackling network uncertainties. These VPNs also address device visibility to control and provide access to critical systems. Separate mobile VPNs can be created for end-users, managers and customers for simpler monitoring and management of mobile devices in the wild.

Controlled Usage

Mobile devices that access enterprise backend systems can be controlled by enforcing network wide device and user specific policies. This system allows remote devices to be controlled and improves security by protecting users from inadvertently taking actions that can render harm to their devices, software, data and even backend systems. Enterprises can restrict corporate devices from being used for personal purposes by restricting access to applications, browsers, games etc. and even specific websites. Further, allowing data synchronization only in known and corporate networks can help in reducing bandwidth in expensive networks and data integrity in unsecured networks. With this kind of secure system, every possible action of a mobile device can be defined and controlled for micro management and total control over deployed devices.

Standards Compliance

Secure over-the-air (OTA) access for mobile devices requires enterprises to be compliant with applicable corporate and regulatory standards and procedures. This in turn calls for additional security measures to protect network, devices, application and data throughout the enterprise (including systems not directly related to enterprise mobility). However, enterprise mobile management (EMM) and mobile device management (MDM) frameworks and solutions ensure secure, flexible and optimized mobile infrastructure including complete compliance with changing corporate and regulatory policies.

Update Management

Mobile enterprises function on the cutting edge of technology for enhancing value to their business against market competition. This calls for quick deployment of patches against known and discovered exploits lest security or functioning of the enterprise gets jeopardized. With varied mobile devices on different networks and diverse platforms, a central cloud-supported update management system can ease enterprise mobility management and bring in significant cost savings by automating push updates.

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Enterprise Mobility – Possible Setbacks

As is the case with any change agent, mobile-enabling arena is not devoid of setbacks and obstacles. Some of the common setbacks that an enterprise may encounter in their pursuit of mobility are:

User Acceptance

Enterprise mobility depends a lot on user preferences. A workforce not used to smart mobile devices will have a higher learning curve (requiring significant orientation, demos and training sessions) and may hamper enterprise productivity (especially for time-sensitive industries). Unlike, traditional software services, mobile applications can be updated or changed completely including interface, workflow etc. in no time by harnessing the power of APIs and features, in current and updated mobile operating systems. This move has the potential to upset the workflow of end-users, who are already grappling with the functioning of the new mobile enterprise. In case of BYOD deployment, even technologically sound users may show reluctance to use their personal devices for enterprise computing, or carry multiple devices to keep personal and enterprise data separate.

Data Connectivity

Enterprise mobility depends on perpetual connectivity. There is no real-time data or instant analysis without uninterrupted connection to the backend infrastructure. Although cloud services can reduce the connectivity impact by offering quick access and storage for offline interaction, it is only a stop-gap solution. Corruption of data due to failure of connection midway and its recovery while simultaneously keeping the mobile enterprise functioning are areas of critical concern. Further, there are issues in serving across the globe with different cellular and wireless options, and confidentiality of encrypted data over unsecured and free WiFi hotspots.

Device Visibility

Enterprise mobility may pose visibility issues. It is not possible to keep track of all deployed devices across multiple networks and platforms due to network problems and software hang ups. Planned updates may fail due to low battery or zero connectivity. Similarly secure deletion of sensitive data may prove futile, if the lost device is never connected to the Internet. Device IDs can get cloned in unsecured networks allowing backend systems to give access to rogue devices, slowing down the entire mobile infrastructure, and forfeiting the benefits of on the go computing.

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Enterprise Mobility – Transition Plan

Enterprise mobility is here to stay and the sooner enterprises realize this and plan on making the transition, the easier it will be for them to adapt to the fast approaching changes in the way world works. Enterprise Mobility is the future of business, and all the associated activities so to say.

While there are challenges in terms of technology, planning, strategizing and solutions deployment, sooner or later these challenges need to be faced. It is becoming imperative to mobile-enable in order to survive and grow in this highly competitive business environment. The inherent cost factor can be set off in phased mobile-enabling measures, where in a number of cost cutting measures can be brought about and productivity and performance can be enhanced. The benefits to the bottom-line are enormous and the cost of mobile-enabling is just a fraction of it. The question is not “if an enterprise should adapt mobility”, because it sure needs to, the actual question moves further to “how to mobile-enable and which company to partner with for mobile-enabling solutions”.

While collaborative applications such as e-mail were the largest deployed mobile applications in the last decade, a recent IDC survey suggests that 70% of organizations are currently deploying at least one other mobile application, with more than 30% of these companies are deploying multiple mobile applications. In the next two years, most organizations are expected to extend their mobile applications to areas such as CRM, ERP, SCM and a host of other functions.

Partnering with sophisticated solutions providers such as Karya Technologies, who have proven solutions in this arena, will benefit organizations planning on mobility in a multitude of ways. Whether it is the custom-built mobile applications development, pre-built mobile application deployment, customization of pre-built mobile applications or an end to end solution in terms of consultation, planning, strategizing and implementing the mobile-enabling endeavors, Karya Technologies is ready to accompany your organization in ensuring that your enterprise traces superior growth trajectory in the years to come.

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Striking Features of Enterprise Mobility Solutions

An efficient mobile-enabling solution needs to address several factors amicably in order to deliver the desired results. The most important areas that need to be addressed harmoniously in the quest for superior mobile-enabling solutions are:

Heterogeneous Infrastructure

Although most enterprises feel developing, deploying and supporting a single mobile platform would be easy, efficient and cost effective for mobile-enabling their enterprise, the truth is radically different. Since true enterprise mobility is not restricted to the enterprise and its workforce, consideration for other mobile platforms is critical for the success of a mobile-enabled enterprise. The support for heterogeneous mobile infrastructure with various devices and iterations of mobile operating systems such as Symbian, Palm, BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and other Linux variants is the need of the hour.

organizational capabilities

*DLP: Data Loss Prevention

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD in enterprise mobility is more of a reality than a concept. With executives and end-users preferring to carry a single, unified and simplified gadget for work and communication, access to enterprise functionalities on their smart devices makes business sense. It is cost-effective, reduces training and instantly improves productivity due to device and its operating system familiarity. Enterprises have observed a remarkable shift from desktops to laptops or netbooks, and now it is time to transition to handheld mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Extensible Architecture

Enterprises need a mobile platform that can adapt to their existing backend IT infrastructure, a variety of mobile application development scenarios and different mobile devices and mobile operating systems. Enterprises are also keen on open systems for rapid development, deployment and delivery of mobile solutions and services. This kind of open and extensible architecture helps enterprises to go mobile without affecting their existing enterprise infrastructure and try out new mobile, web and cloud services in the extended enterprise.

Cloud Connection

Enterprise solutions work flawlessly within the enterprise even with simultaneous access, control and updates. However, when enterprise functionalities leave the premises, connectivity and storage takes importance. Most mobile devices work with limited resources be it processing, memory or disk space. On top of it 24/7 internet connectivity, regardless of the location, is still not a reality in any country. In such a situation, cloud services rescue enterprise mobile deployments and enables mobile devices to function offline with the latest data. Later when there is connectivity, enterprise databases can be synchronized safely and securely.

Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM)

Enterprise mobility on heterogeneous devices, and its software ecosystem, requires a unified management system. It is impossible to individually manage each mobile platform, especially when the end-user’s device, software system and location is unknown or changes frequently. Mobile Device Management (MDM) can help enterprises to centralize operations of multiple smart devices effortlessly, transparently and seamlessly.

EMM-Adoption
EMM-Strategies

Simplified System

Enterprises go mobile to add strategic value to their business. However, any complexities in the mobile platform is an obstacle in deriving value from it and even affects the existing infrastructure, especially during integration with backend systems and third-party or custom solutions. Therefore, the robustness of the enterprise mobile platform in terms of security, usability and productivity is critical. Such a system reduces technological complexities, integrates holistically and simplifies enterprise mobility for smooth deployment and effortless management.

mobility mutitasking

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Mobility Markets – Select Verticals and Functions

Various industry verticals have embraced enterprise mobility and many other are continuing their pursuit of mobility with planned deployments in a phased manner. Some common examples of enterprise mobility in vertical markets:

Information Technology

Smartphones help network and systems administrators to monitor the infrastructure that supports the organization’s 24/7 websites and services. The database administrators can monitor system and service performance in real-time.

Manufacturing

If plant personnel have mobile access to the inventory database, they can immediately determine whether or not a broken component is available, and place an order for immediate purchase if it is not available. This prevents lag time and ensures smooth flow of processes. Further, RFID tags on the spare parts allow them to not only verify availability but also to determine the exact location of the component or spare part.

Supply Chain

Even complicated interactions in supply chain and logistics such as ordering parts, approving discounts, negotiating contracts, obtaining status reports and more can be mobile-enabled. Multiple interactions by different departments across all partners in the chain can be integrated with simplified workflow processes on smart mobile devices.

Retail

Mobile point-of-sale (m-POS) applications allow sales personnel to provide superior customer service. Using mobile applications, they can look into the inventory for stocks, show images of different varieties of products and even handle order placements – all using handheld devices.

Human Resource

Employees can fill out and submit time sheets, expense reimbursement requests and vacation requests from their mobile devices, and managers can provide approvals using these wireless devices.

Marketing

Savvy marketers can engage in permission marketing, personalized marketing and mass customization of retail offerings especially in high value purchases and brand enhancing services.

Sales

Real-time information from ERP and CRM, supply chain and inventory systems on mobile devices allow for quick sales, customer delight and higher margins.

Customer Support

Trouble tickets and service orders can be automated and quickly responded to with the use of mobile devices. Support personnel can be enabled with updated information so they can offer services that are in the best interest of the customers. On the spot service provisioning will reduce overheads and improve customer trust.

Other

Other verticals and functions that can benefit from enterprise mobility include Automotive, Banking, Education, Energy, Oil and Gas, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Finance, Food and Beverage, Government, Healthcare, Insurance, Media, Real Estate, Telecommunications and Transportation. Karya provides the mobility solutions for all the above vericals and functions.

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Embracing Enterprise Mobility

Enterprise mobility is a strategic tool that accrues business values across functions. Although enterprises like to function on the go, there are a variety of complexities involved in the mobile ecosystem and this perceived complex nature of mobile platforms, technologies and deployment options may deter enterprises from full scale adaption of mobile-enabling services.

Some of the factors that may act as deterrents are:

  • Multiple backend systems, legacy solutions and new generation of services
  • A growing number of disparate mobile platforms – Symbian, Palm, BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile
  • Myriad devices and system software iterations that create a dilemma that can stump even veterans in technology selection and management
  • Diverse cellular standards to deal with – GSM, CDMA, WiFi, WiMax, 4G and other promising technologies

However, what enterprises have come to realize is that all this diversity is here to stay. In order to trace the continued growth trajectory, enterprises need to adapt and allow mobility.

The following was the forecast by IDC back in 2007 that projected the mobile professionals at about quarter of a billion by 2011.

mobile-population-2011

Although enterprises cannot change the current mobile world complexity, they can simplify it for their enterprise by building a robust enterprise mobile architecture that plays along with this kind of heterogeneity.

An enterprise mobile platform that can handle different backend systems, mobile devices and infrastructure is the need of the hour. Such a platform offers tools for rapid deployment of applications and services across mobile platforms and networks, synchronizes data transparently, and brings in web services (cloud access, storage and sync) for universal accessibility.

This is not a distant dream but a reality that delivers key enterprise management and security components surpassing the expectations of IT managers and mobile end-users. Karya offers ready to deploy and custom-built enterprise mobility solutions specific to industry verticals.

Use-of-mobility-technologies

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Enterprise On-The-Go

Gone are the days when things were tied to the desktop and mobility meant lugging around laptop for managing enterprise functions. Today’s enterprise works with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and they are not restricted to just communication and collaboration but literally help in running the enterprise efficiently and effectively. In short, enterprise mobility has come of age and is mature enough to handle enterprise of any size, industry or country.

Over the next few weeks, this blog will address this subject. We analyze why enterprises need to focus on mobile platform, bring enterprise applications and services to smart devices and deploy strategic solutions specific to the enterprise.

It also gives insight into:

  • Past difficulties across technology
  • Supplier deployment and customer adoption
  • How the next generation of mobile enterprise platform is a game changer.

This blog will discuss how Karya’s proven solutions can help enterprises go to that next level in their mobile-enabling endeavors. Partnering with Karya for enterprise mobility sets your enterprise on the move.

The key to successfully mobile -enable an enterprise involves:

  • Consideration of current and planned IT infrastructure
  • Consideration of new functions and intelligence
  • Identification of critical areas that can make or break mobile deployment
  • Harnessing the power of mobile systems
  • Cloud computing
  • Securing the system for compliance and confidentiality

Karya offers end to end solutions in this direction for successfully mobile-enabling your enterprise.

Understanding Enterprise Mobility

Enterprise mobility is capturing, processing and managing enterprise data on the move. It involves collection of data, synchronization with the enterprise servers (including cloud storage systems), and instant analysis (which requires significant processing either on the server or on the mobile device) for delivery of rich and relevant information – all from the point of activity in real-time.

Enterprise mobility focuses on empowering the mobile workforce by providing them with relevant information, regardless of time or location, in order to take strategic decisions that can add value to the enterprise in today’s highly competitive global market.

The Need for Enterprise Mobility

Enterprise mobility is required for securely capturing and sharing of enterprise information outside the boundaries (firewall) of an enterprise. It helps enterprises to provide on-demand services and solutions via a wide variety of applications on different types of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Enterprise mobility can save costs, enhance responsiveness, improve effectiveness and boost overall productivity of the enterprise. It leverages the capabilities of smart devices and communication technology infrastructure to provide meaningful information for enterprise managers and customers, at the tip of their fingers.

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