The Business of IT Blog

Introduction to Enterprise Mobility

4 minute read
Muhammad Raza

Enterprise Mobility refers to the growing trend of organizations supporting remote operations for the workforce connecting via wireless devices. The trend recognizes the responsibility of organizations to adopt policies, processes, and technologies that enable secure and effective access to corporate apps, data, and services. The workforce saves time and corporate resources by performing office work from anywhere, using any device. According to a recent research report by Frost & Sullivan, employees using smartphones to get work done report a productivity increase of 34% and a gain of 58 minutes per day.

However, there’s more to Enterprise Mobility than using BYOD devices for work. In this blog post, we will discuss the important aspects of enterprise mobility, its benefits, and best practices for organizations who want to adopt the trend.

Enterprise mobility trends

Global organizations as well as a digitally active workforce demand enterprise mobility at an unprecedented scale. Technology trends, including solutions that enable remote work operations, and behavioral change among employees is pushing organizations to support enterprise mobility. According to the 2018 PWC research report Future of Mobility:

  • 60% of CEOs are looking to reshape HR functions to drive the necessary workforce transformation.
  • Compared to traditional workplace models that allow 1% of workforce to operate remotely, organizations adopting modern enterprise mobility practices can enable 80% of their workforce to perform their tasks remotely.

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) industry is also booming due to the increasing adoption of enterprise mobility practices according to various research:

  • The BYOD market is forecast to register a 15% CAGR from 2019 to 2024.
  • BYOD adoption is on the rise among millennials as well as older employees. According to the report, 61% of Gen Y and 50% of employees aged 30 and above believe their personal mobile devices are more effective and productive for work obligations than their employer-provided devices.
  • 42% of respondents believe BYOD devices increase the speed of innovation.
  • 41% suggest that the flexibility of a mobile workforce improves the quality of collaboration among employees.
  • 35% believe that an overall improvement in quality of work is observed as a result of using BYOD devices in remote work operations.

Benefits of enterprise mobility

Technology solutions that enable remote work aren’t the only reason companies are making the change. Those trends indicate positive shifts towards collaboration and innovation. Of course, organizations also directly benefit from enterprise mobility:

  • Save on resources
  • Increase workforce productivity
  • Close the IT talent gap

Finally, the enterprise mobility trend has emerged not only as a tool, but as a critical requirement for businesses to survive. Most organizations prefer an optimal mix of on-site and remote work operations to balance the advantages of employees collaborating with each other within the same office building and productivity gained by remote working. However, unforeseen circumstances can force organizations and individuals from following the optimal approach and failing to work remotely can lead to business failure and unemployment.

The prime example is the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In the final two weeks of March 2020, approximately 10 million individuals in the U.S. filed for unemployment claims. The spike represents how business organizations unable to offer remote work operations cope with a global pandemic that forced closures of office buildings and public spaces globally. According to a Goldman Sachs survey conducted among 1,500+ small business owners, around half of the business owners believed they may not resume operations if site closures persisted for over three months.

How to initiate enterprise mobility

As many countries adopt quarantine measures, most tech companies have responded by offering remote work operations for most employees. These organizations are therefore expected to maximize the potential of their enterprise mobility initiatives.

The following considerations can help achieve this goal:

  • Identify objectives and business cases. Consider a variety of cases beyond communications and access to corporate information. Bring workplace assets to the mobile field. These resources can include apps and services accessible via remote and secured network connections. Also provide access to ERP, CRM, and executive dashboards for employees to track their out-of-office productivity.
  • Develop a policy and process framework. Follow a systematic approach to enterprise mobility. Remote business operations can follow framework guidelines in the same way as on-site operations, with the necessary provision of technology process considered adequately.
  • Deploy Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM). Manage the wireless networks, devices, and services used in performing office tasks remotely. The managed components include security, end-user privacy, cost, service availability and network performance, among others.
  • Implement security and compliance. Encrypt data in transition and at rest. This means that data networks should be secure from cyber-threats such as Man-in-the-Middle attacks, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). End-user devices should be secured against device vulnerabilities, devise loss or theft, misuse of information access, and zero-day exploits.
  • Promote end-user privacy. Corporate data should be treated independently from personal data stored on a BYOD device. End users can freely use their personal devices for productive remote office operations when their personal data privacy is guaranteed.
  • Develop and evaluate KPIs. Large-scale enterprise mobility initiatives involve thousands of devices connecting with corporate networks and services. This connectivity generates insightful information on data and services accessed, workforce productivity, and a range of metrics relating to business and technical systems. Devise a strategy to collect, measure, and analyze the most impactful metrics and KPIs.
  • Integrate processes, technologies, and experiences. Manage technology integration and information silos. The technology landscape is constantly changing. As businesses and the workforce deploy more services and solutions accessed remotely, one of the challenges relates with the management of disparate technology services and information assets. Scaling enterprise mobility across an increasing user-base and expanding the service portfolio should not compromise the remote working experience of individual end-users. The right information should be conveniently accessible to authorized employees and leveraged across the apps and services used to collaborative projects.

Additional resources

For more information on enterprise mobility, check out these BMC Blogs:

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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Muhammad Raza

Muhammad Raza is a Stockholm-based technology consultant working with leading startups and Fortune 500 firms on thought leadership branding projects across DevOps, Cloud, Security and IoT.