Widespread usage of mobile devices in the workplace has become the new normal. The initial surge of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) presented security challenges for businesses. IT departments responded to the growing number of employees bringing personal devices to work by implementing Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology. MDM instituted security measures and prevented unauthorized devices from entering corporate networks. Soon, it became apparent that BYOD actually increased employee productivity and was a huge business benefit.
But technology is changing—as are threats. MDM is no longer sufficient for mobile-friendly workplaces. Here are five mobility trends to know about in order to protect your business:
- Enterprises are shifting from MDM to EMM.
Traditional MDM works through password lock-swipes on individual devices. But now, an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) strategy is necessary. With EMM, businesses can create entire infrastructures to centrally manage all devices connected to corporate networks. EMM allows businesses to deploy mobile application management, data privacy features, and integration with software applications. As businesses increasingly rely on advanced software solutions, this integration can greatly increase overall productivity.
- Security and privacy are both prioritized.
Mobile technology gives employees more options for flexible schedules and working remotely. However, these benefits need to be balanced against security concerns. Devices can be lost or stolen, and increasing the number of endpoints for a network opens up new avenues of attack for hackers.
With corporate data more vulnerable, EMM allows enterprises to exercise greater controls over which apps can be installed on connected devices. Security and usability are enhanced through multi-factor authentication and single sign-on (SSO).
Yet many employees may be understandably concerned about their privacy. EMM solutions, such as VMWare’s AirWatch, allows for segmentation that protects employee privacy. This means that while businesses can control their own data, they cannot (for example) look in on employees’ personal e-mail accounts.
- Apps are increasingly critical.
Mobile apps aren’t just for playing Angry Birds any more. Employees are increasingly using mobile applications for work purposes, and IT organizations need to allow users to easily access productivity apps and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications on mobile devices. Many organizations are working on setting up an “app store” for employees to download sanctioned apps and are developing their own apps for internal use.
A comprehensive EMM solution (like AirWatch) provides IT departments with the ability to exercise oversight over apps in order to protect sensitive information.
- Analytics can improve business operations.
Data analytics is revolutionizing all aspects of business, including workforce management. With a quality EMM solution, businesses are able to collect and analyze data about how employees utilize mobile applications. These insights can help improve applications and guide managers in supporting the workforce.
- All devices, including desktops and laptops, are moving to the cloud.
With the advent of the cloud and the blurring lines between mobile devices and desktops, IT needs tools that allow them to manage traditional computers as well as mobile devices. Thanks to the cloud, employees now can switch seamlessly between devices. Therefore, EMM solutions need to allow IT teams to manage laptops like smartphones and tablets. The AirWatch solution does just that.
There is a great opportunity to turn mobile devices from a liability into a strategic advantage. EMM provides the ability to apply policies and integrate mobile devices to integrate security, identity, application and content management into a management framework. For help in implementing an EMM solution, the mobility experts at OneNeck IT Solutions will ensure you make a successful transition to a secure, mobile-enabled workplace.