By: Marco Nielsen, Vice President, Managed Mobility Services, Stratix Corporation
In my last post, I offered my perspective of mobile technology trends that will impact the business world in 2017. In this post, I’m narrowing the focus to managed mobility services (MMS): What should you watch for this year, and more importantly, what actions should you take to keep pace with new MMS developments?
Companies seek alternatives to BYOD.
What to watch for:
- In a BYOD implementation, an enterprise has to weigh potential productivity benefits against BYODs’ higher vulnerability to security threats. Many companies don’t like the tradeoff. Increasingly, companies will standardize on Choose-Your-Own-Device (CYOD) programs over BYOD. IDC predicts that by 2019, “85% of unregulated organizations will offer a CYOD program of eligible employees as their default policy.” By simplifying the purchase, deployment and management of devices used for business, CYOD will lessen costs, streamline support and provide better security.
- Another option that’s on the upswing: Corporate-Owned, Personal-Enabled (COPE) devices. COPE appeals to companies with strong needs around line-of-business applications that directly drive business revenue. These critical devices usually require more support and services to ensure functionality, up-time, and long-term usage.
How to respond: Choose a provider that has deep experience in CYOD and COPE solutions. You’ll want a security assessment, plus help in navigating the various solutions according to the requirements of your security posture.
Mobility-as-a-Service contracts gain favor.
What to watch for: As companies mature into their usage of mobility, many are moving from experimental point solutions, to building a “mobile first” culture closely integrated with their business processes. With more emphasis on long-term planning, forward-looking companies find they can leverage hardware, software and services in mobility-as-a-service contracts. These multi-year agreements can reduce costs and ensure proper implementation, support and refresh cycles.
How to respond: Talk to your suppliers about their mobility-as-a-service offerings. Find out how they work at all levels of the mobile ecosystem, including the OEMs, to provide an effective program for procurement, device management, security, and user support.
Mobile security becomes more manageable.
What to watch for: As attacks on mobile devices continue to grow and enterprise security managers cope with escalating risks, various mobile security solutions are slowly gaining traction. Meanwhile, according to RCR Wireless News, there is increased cooperation between hardware, carrier and security companies, and this could greatly impact how mobile threats are detected.
How to respond: Look for providers with expertise in implementing mobile security best practices, such as encrypted communications, strong authentication, special gateways for mobile traffic, and separation of work and personal data. The first step is to understand your risk assessment, and where you should look for solutions to lower that risk. There are now several solutions for various risks, so it’s important to look beyond just the OEM and OS solution stack.
Application Management gets tougher.
What to watch for: As mobility becomes more prevalent in business and volume increases, managing mobile applications becomes increasingly difficult. The tasks of deployment, updating, and support take up resources and increase costs.
How to respond: Choose a provider that knows mobility and can help you maximize the usability, productivity and business revenue impact of the applications you use. The provider should also help you implement the right combination of app-level and device-level approaches to mobile app management for different situations.
UEM extends EMM cost savings to traditional and new endpoints.
What to watch for: Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions have evolved into Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) with additional content, application and security functionality.
I believe the market is moving to a new evolution called Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). It will help IT to deliver policies and support across all types of endpoints and devices, including PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even newer IoT technologies. The same standards and services could work in sync across all end-point devices.
UEM could equip IT to achieve significant time and cost savings in the management of today’s endpoint diversity. IT will now be able to manage all devices through their entire lifecycle in the same way, with the one central platform.
How to respond: Some UEM capabilities may be included in the EMM software suite you are evaluating or using today, with more perhaps in the vendor’s roadmap. Closely examine claims of “IoT, Windows, Mac and mobile support.” Make sure you’re getting support for your future business needs and work closely with your end-users to understand their long-term requirements.
2017 has the potential to become a year of major progress in your organization’s journey to a mature “mobile first” mindset. To accelerate the journey, work closely with partners adept in all the nuances of getting maximum returns from your mobility investments. Also, by having a close relationship with your end-user community, you might be surprised to understand where their requirements will take your service needs and planning.