Can Enterprise Mobile Solutions Justify the Cost?
January 20, 2014
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The world is going mobile and taking professionals with it. For a number of organizations, the outcome is better productivity and enhanced customer engagements. Still others encounter mismatched strategies and devices, creating a challenge in protecting the network and its users. When the latter is your reality, is mobility really worth the investment?
The question is likely asked in a number of board rooms throughout the country. It’s not an easy or inexpensive migration to adopt enterprise mobile solutions and making the business case to management is a challenge some aren’t willing to undertake. It’s possible that with the right features and internal controls, the company can see improvements to the bottom line as long as you know what to pick.
In a Manage My IT article from last year, the author suggests there are essentially four mobile technology features that every business needs: performance, ease of use, reliability and security. Looking a little closer, performance should be a given. If the device can’t enhance the productivity of the user, there’s no value proposition for going mobile. Likewise, if it isn’t easy to use, the professional is likely to resist the opportunity.
Therein lies the argument in favor of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. Employees are likely to enjoy better performance and efficiency if they can choose their own device. Plus, if there’s only one device to keep track of for both personal and work activities, the employee is better engaged and able to improve performance.
Reliability and security need a bit more attention, not just from the user but also from corporate IT. As a general rule, if employees use an Android (News - Alert), iOS or Windows-based phone, seamless performance across applications and networks is assured. If a device is selected that can’t meet the performance expectations of the employee’s desktop, productivity will be lost. Likewise, if IT can’t access and monitor the device, security vulnerabilities are likely.
Fortunately, enterprise mobile solutions can include BYOD strategies and mobile device management solutions that allow IT direct insight into user habits and stop activities that can put the network and even the user at risk. Enforceable policies also help teach employees what type of behavior is acceptable and how best to manage data and applications on a personal device.
When the right strategy is in place and policies enforced, business stands to gain considerable value from mobile technology. The key is to identify how it fits a need for the enterprise and launch a strategy according to that need, measuring the benefits along the way. In doing so, the adoption of mobility and enterprise mobile solutions will certainly be worth the investment.