A 2018 survey by Oxford Economics showed that 80% of senior IT and business leaders believe their employees can’t do their jobs effectively without a smartphone. Nearly as many respondents also reported that mobile devices are essential to business workflows.
The type of mobile device, specifically the vendor, matters. An iPhone user and an Android user are different, for example. Each has attachments to the interface and capabilities, which drives efficiency and engagement. The workplace is not immune to this and many executives understand. The 2019 Insight Intelligent Technology Index reveals 77% of IT decision-makers believe it‘s “very or extremely important” for corporate IT to resemble consumer experiences.
Thus, the majority of enterprises employ a hybrid approach for mobile devices; a strategy that leverages a combination of employer-issued tools and a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plan. This model is understandably lauded for its flexibility and its ability to increase employee satisfaction. Some companies claim they save on costs with BYOD programs, which may or may not be the case considering the costs of paying out stipends to compensate for personal mobile usage. However, a BYOD/hybrid mobile environment can also be difficult to manage. Ensuring security throughout a mixed-device fleet is anything but simple.
A study by Enterprise Mobility Exchange and NetMotion Software revealed that 49% of IT leaders could not give a specific figure of mobile security incidents that took place in the previous year. There were also considerations around access control, performance and liability that were not insubstantial.
Where does this leave us? What’s an effective mobile strategy? How do you manage mobility in today’s world?
“The runaway growth of mobile consumption by the modern workforce is forcing enterprise IT (and their service providers) to view reality through a mobile-first prism,” says Evan Tomlin, director of mobility and end-user compute at Insight. “This impacts all dimensions of a given worker’s perception of his or her career — and their effectiveness in furthering company goals.”
A report by The Economist expands on mobility’s impact on these dimensions. It found that workers who consider their employer a “pioneer” in mobile adoption and support have significantly higher levels of productivity (16%), creativity (18%), satisfaction (23%) and loyalty (21%) than those who say their employer’s use of mobile technology is subpar.
IT and business leaders are embracing a mobile-first mentality when they:
This can be difficult to achieve, but those who pursue it can expect notable results. Mark Cross, services product manager at Insight, says that coupling a mobile-first strategy with modern capabilities such as zero-touch enrollment can help businesses drive key business outcomes. These include:
As technology, the workplace and consumer habits converge, the tools and processes used to manage different devices — for example, Windows laptops versus Apple and Android tablets — are slowly unifying as well. According to Cross, the combination of endpoint devices and services can enable a superior out-of-the-box experience for end users.
“Modern management methodologies from all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) now enable a fully automated installation and configuration, over the network, for applications, security policy enforcement, and OS and applications updates without the help of traditional IT staff,” he says.
But as IT looks for more ways to transition from a cost center to a value-add for organizations, IT staff faces a whole new crop of questions to find answers to:
The truth is, finding the proper means of deploying, securing and managing an increasingly diverse device landscape — throughout the entire lifecycle — can be overwhelming for IT teams. Two-thirds of enterprises have opted to outsource some or all of the day-to-day deployment and management of devices in order to stay on top of the complexities of mobile device management, according to the Oxford Economics study.
If unified endpoint management is the future, what should organizations look for in a solution? Cross says Insight Managed Mobility is one of a kind; “a complete lifecycle solution for all smartphone and tablet needs that no other supplier can match.” It provides a consolidated offering through five pillars:
While many solutions in the marketplace boast strengths in a few of these pillars, the true value-add for organizations will emerge from fully actualized, end-to-end solutions that deliver on all five.