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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