1 Published by FierceMarkets Custom Publishing A Guide to Enterprise Mobility Management Enterprises today are going mobile, because competitive pressures and modern workforces demand it. If not properly selected, deployed, and managed, mobility can become a liability. A key question is how best to manage mobility and deliver the intended benefits of increased productivity, operational efficiencies, and employee customer satisfaction. Some companies decide to do it in house, some partner with mobility management partners, and for some it is a combination of both. Whichever route you choose, you need to be informed about what to expect. After a quick overview of the mobile landscape and the facets of mobility management, this guide covers the key issues your company will likely face in four areas: Risk and security Costs Bring your own device (BYOD) and choose your own device (CYOD) Operations and support SPONSORED BY Knowing what to expect in these categories will help you make informed decisions about how to manage mobility appropriately for your organization. Today s Mobility Landscape Mobile device use across enterprises is expanding and evolving rapidly. Market forces are elevating the business and technical issues associated with mobility above the tactical level and beyond the IT department. Increasingly, C-level executives, and not just CIOs, are realizing the strategic impact of decisions made around mobile devices, and therefore the importance of mobility management as a business discipline. Relevant market drivers include a sharp increase in end-user demand for smart mobile devices. This
2 trend is related to the so-called consumerization of IT, in which employees increasingly desire mobile technology to work on the job, just as they would in their personal lives. They want to choose the devices and applications that will best help them get their jobs done, not simply accept whichever technologies are chosen for them by the IT department. These demands are made even trickier by the rapid evolution of mobile devices and their capabilities, which continually introduce more complexity into enterprise computing environments. means different things to different enterprises, but in general it must account for: Ongoing changes in your workforce Different personas and needs of staff groups (e.g. back office vs. customer-facing) Management of diverse mobile assets: tablets, smartphones, point of service devices Rapid obsolescence with evolving mobile technology Proper mobility management allows an enterprise to treat employees differently according to their roles, selectively enabling or disabling certain applications or layers of security access as appropriate. At the same time, it allows the company to deploy and control its mobile assets intelligently, knowing which apps should be on each device and understanding exactly how to support, repair, replace, and reprovision each mobile asset as needed. At the same time, companies are increasingly conscious about their own resource constraints when it comes to deploying and managing mobility. Especially considering the increasing scale of mobile deployments, there is a bigger emphasis on cost control. All of these forces make it clear that companies need better mobility management, whether it is carried out in-house or through one or more partners. What Is Mobility Management? Mobility management is a structured program for handling the business and technology aspects of mobile device use across an organization. It covers a lot of ground, including device selection, acquisition, provisioning, activation, training, ongoing end-user software deployments, help desk support, and device management. One way of thinking about mobility management is to consider all of the issues that will affect your company across the lifecycle of an employee or the lifecycle of a mobile device. In the mobility space, lifecycle management According to Brian Bukowski, a 25-year veteran of the mobility industry who serves as SVP of Sales for Stratix Corporation, There are so many variables in the mobile space that customers are looking for a flexible, scalable, and secure support framework. This extends well beyond the specifics of staff members and devices. For example, robust mobility management helps you carry out rigorous telecom expense management (TEM) to understand your company s specific patterns of mobile usage and thereby manage carrier costs. In the bigger picture, mobility management helps your organization to more quickly take advantage of the transition from older ways of computing to the modern mobile setting. Most IT departments are very good at managing the desktop computers that live on their own local-area networks (LANs), and they grasp very well how to provide secure access (for example through VPNs) for laptops that employees use from home or in the field. But smartphones connected via wide-area networks (WANs) present a new set of challenges that even large enterprises are often unprepared to address. As Bukowski puts it, The world has all of a sudden gotten a lot more complicated as enterprises try to manage mobile computing. It s not a desktop-/laptop-only world anymore.
3 Successfully dealing with that complexity is what mobility management is all about. Type and Size of Business The discipline of mobility management is industry-agnostic. There can be different specific considerations for different types of companies, of course: a retailer might be concerned with mobile point-of-sale systems, for example, whereas a management consulting company wouldn t. The main thing to look at, instead, is the size and complexity of your mobile deployment. If your company has fewer than 500 mobile devices with just one or two apps deployed, it typically doesn t make sense to bring in a partner for mobility management. Above that line, you are left with the choice of do-it-yourself (DIY) mobility management, or outsourcing some or all of that work to a mobility management partner. Security Risks Most companies are well aware of the overall security risks they face in the computing space. If they weren t already, the steady stream of bad news about security breaches and data leaks at major companies would have made them so. Today s technologies and mobile workforces mean that you must secure your enterprise against the risk of a breach not just within your own walls, but anywhere and at any time. The risk is heightened by the trend toward BYOD a reality that many companies struggle to deal with. More broadly, from a technology standpoint, mobility opens up an additional attack surface that black-hat hackers can use to cause you harm. DIY Mobile Security Mobile computing creates such a security challenge for enterprises because it presents their IT departments with a very different picture from traditional server-desktop environments and wellunderstood workhorse technologies such as Wi-Fi and . If your organization opts to go it alone in mobility management, you must be ready to deal with constantly evolving security threats in this new environment, and therefore be ready to handle constant updates to your company s technology, resources, and knowledge as the landscape changes every few months. Marco Nielsen, VP of Managed Mobility Services at Stratix, has spent many years deploying mobile technologies in diverse enterprise settings. He points out that you cannot take a traditional stack approach to secure your mobile deployment. At the networking layer, your mobile devices can be exposed to security threats via hotspots, unsecured Wi-Fi, and even the settings on individual devices that attempt to connect them automatically to available networks. The application layer can also be fraught with risks, especially when apps can be loaded from unsecure app stores. In between are the complexities of operating systems, data encryption, and the containers that segregate business apps and data from personal ones on a single device. Nielsen expects these complexities to increase, not decrease, as more people adopt wearable computing devices (such as Google Glass) and use more networked devices (such as home automation controls, smart watches, keyboard-less input devices, and Internet-connected TV and radio feeds) in their Internet-connected cars and homes. He also points out that many different vendors are involved in the various areas of mobile technology, and there is a lot of friction among them as they attempt to work out industry standards. Experience with a Mobile Partner The advantage of working with a mobility management partner is the specialized knowledge they have earned through engagements with other client enterprises. Domain-specific experience is especially important in mobility, where generalpurpose IT consulting skills don t meet current needs. Many enterprises come to this conclusion after trying to do mobility management on their own and learning the hard way that mobility is not only complex, but also changing constantly.
4 Working with a specialized partner allows your IT team to offload mobility management so it can focus on its core competencies. Before choosing a mobility management partner, you should question them closely on their background and expertise in a few key areas. Here are some examples: How do they balance security with usability so that your enterprise remains protected but your staff can still get work done? What size deployments have they delivered and supported in the past? Can they scale to meet your changing needs? Are they equipped to manage both the security of the physical device and the data living on it? Does the partner have experience with the technologies specific to your industry, for example, with securing Wi-Fi within warehouses or devices in a WAN environment? Does the partner have relationships with all the key vendors in your mobile ecosystem? The best mobility management partner specializes only in mobility. They will bridge the gap between the technological and human sides of the equation to keep you ahead of the game. Costs All businesses want to control costs, and mobility management presents particular challenges in that regard. For starters, the rapid evolution of mobile technology means that replacement lifecycles for mobile devices are usually much shorter than for desktops or even laptops. In making the decision to go it alone or to outsource mobility management, you should consider the relative impacts of capital expenditure (for DIY) versus operating expenditure (for outsourcing). If you outsource, you should also weigh the time and cost of managing multiple vendors versus building a relationship with a single trusted partner who specializes in mobile management. The Costs of DIY Mobility Management Many companies that attempt to manage mobility for themselves discover that its costs are hiding in many different parts of the business. Clearly, your IT department will be responsible for part of the expenditure, but how much of it? Will they handle all deployment of mobile devices? What about tracking and management of shipping, reverse logistics, and reprovisioning? (Even when a device breaks in the field and must be replaced by the next morning?) How about ongoing mobile device management (MDM), application, and device training? The larger your deployment is, the deeper the questions become. Citing an example that often catches enterprises short, Nielsen asks, Are you willing to have a whole warehouse of equipment, and the support staff around it? Similarly, can you spare the resources to train your help-desk staff in new mobile technologies every three months? For that matter, can you afford to run a mobile help desk 24/7? Does it make sense for you to take on the capital expenditure implied by, say, 20,000 mobile devices and end-users, with the attendant maintenance, depreciation, and so on? What it really boils down to, Nielsen says, is answering the question of Is managing mobility core to your business? If it is, then you ll tackle all these complexities in a way that keeps costs under control. Most enterprises, however, are busy enough making products, running stores, delivering services, or whatever it is they do as their core business; for them, trying to make mobility management a true competency brings too many costs with it. Cost Control with a Mobility Management Partner Working with a partner allows you to centralize
5 mobility management so you can have a clear view of its costs. Taking on a partner is a big step that implies some loss of control, and it may be especially hard to take that step if you haven t outsourced something of this scale before. That difficulty can be addressed by finding an experienced, specialized partner who listens to your concerns, answers your questions, and provides industry intelligence and key insight into success metrics. Then, work with them on creating a rigorous service-level agreement (SLA) to support your business. While you may cede some control, It s kind of like sending your kid to college, Nielsen says. You have to let go. You have to put trust into that partner who is focused on your mobile environment so you can focus on the continued success of your core business. Once you do, your partner can help you save costs in many ways. They will do so through TEM, which helps you control your spending with telecom carriers at scale. They also have the expertise to capture smaller pockets of savings in terms of both direct costs and opportunity costs across your enterprise, starting with a help desk that has incentives to keep all of your devices up and running without interruptions in service. When something does break, your partner will have a substitute device in the hands of the end user the next day to avoid lost productivity. At the same time, the partner will ensure that the phone is turned off with the carrier so that your company isn t paying for voice or data on it. While the device is out of commission, the partner will maintain a log that shows that the device was returned, how it was diagnosed and repaired, and when it will be back in service. That kind of attention to relevant detail saves you money at every turn, but it is only possible with a partner who has a wealth of experience in mobility management. There is also an advantage to working with a single partner rather than trying to manage several. Anyone who has ever dealt with multiple vendors, each with separate contracts, master service agreements, and statements of work, knows that the documents involved are not trivial to complete. Besides giving you one hand to shake, having a single partner to manage that complex supplier network on their own ticket saves you time and money on vendor management. Bring Your Own Device / Choose Your Own Device One of the key issues that vexes enterprises today is BYOD along with its variant, CYOD which takes companies into all sorts of gray areas that will continue to evolve. One thing that is not in the gray area is this: regardless of the source of the device, the device needs to be managed. Besides the security issues already touched upon, there are key questions still being sorted out about who bears the burdens in terms of financial cost, legal liability, and technical support. These issues are hardly abstract: the increase in virtual workforces, along with the influx of young professional millennials, means that BYOD is here to stay. BYOD on the DIY Plan Some companies attempt to prohibit BYOD altogether through stringent rules and monitoring from the IT staff. It s a lot of work to make that kind of proscription work, and such a policy risks alienating your workforce at the same time that it costs you productivity. At the other extreme, few organizations are moving to pure BYOD unless they have a high level of confidence that they are managing their technology to the point that and other applications are completely containerized and secured. Most businesses fall somewhere between these two extremes; regardless of where they fall, BYOD requires lots of thought. Consider these questions: How do you separate enterprise apps from personal apps on the same device? How do you support a device and control liability for it when the end user still owns it?
6 When it comes to support, are executives and other VIPs in the same bucket as everyone else? If not, how many categories of support are there? (More categories mean more complexity.) How would you find the answers to those questions? Is your organization prepared to deal with the technological, logistical, and legal implications of them? How soon could you implement your answers in the real world? Partnering to Address BYOD A good mobility management partner will be experienced in working across many platforms, technologies, and vendors as they manage BYOD environments. This type of experience offers insight into practical flexibility when it comes to implementation: they know the pitfalls to avoid, and they have good examples of approaches that have worked for others. A good partner will share that knowledge with you to ease the pain created by the complexity of BYOD. That allows you to make faster, more informed decisions while avoiding undesirable outcomes. Operations This is where the rubber meets the road for mobility management. Complexity and demand are going up for mobile devices. Meanwhile, most companies find that their internal resources and relative expertise in mobility are not keeping pace with the demand. If you re thinking of handling mobility yourself, you have to make hard, strategic decisions about how much you can invest in building that expertise. DIY: Making Mobility a Core Competency If you are going to go down this road, you have to make mobility a core business competency. For a few companies, that makes sense; for most it doesn t. Elevating mobility to that level means absorbing all the costs described above, staying abreast of all the security issues, and working through the complexities of BYOD. It means offering specialized 24/7 support in-house, and developing the logistical systems to procure and warehouse thousands of mobile devices on an ongoing basis. It means provisioning, training, and tracking every end user and their device, while also providing true lifecycle management for each mobile asset you deploy and dispose. Can you turn mobility on and keep it on for your organization? Beyond that, you need to measure how your mobile operation is performing, just as you would with any other strategic initiative. That means building reports that draw together data points from many disparate systems and devices, or combining your own reports with vendors who operate externally from your company s mobile operations. When you create these reports, what data should you measure and monitor? Out of the sea of available options, what information actually helps drive actionable business decisions and improve business performance? These are hard questions to answer. Even if you have managed mobility for yourself up to now, keep in mind that it might not be the best idea going forward. The mobility landscape is getting bigger, continuing to change rapidly, and becoming ever more complex; the flow of new technologies is endless. Finding an Operations Partner in Mobility The advantage of having an experienced partner is that they have that vital core competency and specialize in mobility management, allowing you to address your strategic needs in mobility without taking your focus away from the parts of the business where your own expertise will make the most difference. All of the issues mentioned above security, 24/7 support, provisioning, BYOD, and so on have been firmly embedded in their DNA for years. That extends to detailed, proactive reporting that integrates into your business metrics. The right partner will know which data is relevant and how to use it properly, so that you can come away with the
7 key insights necessary for improving your business. They ll also have the experience to spot trends in the data that you might never find, helping you pinpoint problem areas and opportunities. That experience extends across many areas. Besides all the specific responsibilities they carry out for you, your mobility management partner will provide you with what might be called mobile intelligence. A well-established mobility partner deals with many clients who face issues similar to yours; such broad exposure equips your mobility partner with detailed knowledge of current developments, including the latest technical updates and bug alerts, but it also allows them to see deeper trends that help them optimize your mobile deployment. Bukowski gives the example of a client that asked: What kinds of spare pools should I create? They wanted to know how many extra devices to keep on hand. Stratix dug into its own stats across clients to look at real-world failure rates for companies in similar environments, which helped this client discover that in fact they should consider deploying a different type of mobile device altogether for their specific mobile use case. There is no substitute for experience, especially when it s backed by data. Your mobility management partner can save you a lot of grief in operations by drawing on that experience. Conclusion: Knowing When to Outsource Many large enterprises with early experience of mobility in the enterprise have chosen to outsource mobility management because they have found it is the most effective way to keep up with the pace of change in mobile technology. A good mobility partner maintains close relationships with customers and suppliers, and stays abreast of the innovation that drives major shifts in mobile technology every 3 6 months. They will help you know not only what to do now, but also how to answer the question, Where are we going next? Should You Outsource Mobility Management? A Questionnaire Outsourcing is a big decision, and the questions below can t give you a definite answer for it. But they can help guide your thinking about the size of the challenge you face in mobility management, and whether a mobility management partner would be a good choice. What s the size of your organization, in number of mobile users and mobile applications? How would you rate your organization s maturity level in terms of mobile technology deployments? Does your IT staff have mobile management as a core competency? Can they handle all aspects of mobile lifecycle management? Are you able to support your current mobile end users 24/7? Do you expect mobile demands to grow and can you scale your current environment? Are your BYOD policies and practices increasing your organization s productivity? Are they popular with your staff? Do your security policies meet industry requirements? Technically, operationally, and financially, are you able to keep up with the pace of change in mobility? n About Stratix Stratix is one of the largest outsourcing managed mobile services providers, delivering, supporting and managing mobile solutions for industry leading global enterprises. For three decades, enterprises have trusted and relied on the Stratix Managed Mobile Services solution to simplify the complexity of mobile. For more information, follow us on and visit
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