Mobility Intelligence, Monitoring and Analytics: Smarten Up Your Mobility Investment

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You’ve dedicated a substantial amount of your budget to your mobile infrastructure, but how do you know if that investment is working its hardest for you? Collecting the right data and conducting proper analysis will help you determine whether you’re spending in the areas that make the most sense for your business. The final solution brief in our series takes a closer look at business intelligence (BI) as it relates to your mobile environment, including:

  • Make the case for BI. With the plethora of personal devices, apps, and content floating around the mobile environment, it can be tough to tell just what you’re paying for, supporting, and allowing to access corporate data. Examine your mobile strategy to see if it dovetails with your ongoing monitoring and analysis. Identify the key indicators that will tell you if your mobile infrastructure is delivering top value.
  • Know your goals. Most organizations are concerned about optimizing their mobile spend, but you may have additional reasons to monitor your mobile environment. Learn how regular monitoring can enhance your security practices to protect your devices, apps, and data. Determine whether your bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program is a success, and discover how to tweak policies and practices based on real-world information. Consider how your organization’s growth or contraction impacts your mobility budget.
  • Find the right stuff. Certain areas of your business are easier than others when it comes to data collection. Mobility help desks, for example, keep records of every trouble ticket in the course of doing business. Collecting data in other areas, though, may be more elusive. Find out what to look for in telecom expense management (TEM) so you’re getting the best deal. Learn more about evaluating apps and their usage to make sure your investments are reasonable and wise. And, finally, find out when and why you may want to turn to the experts for comprehensive analysis.

Read more—find our mobility intelligence, monitoring, and analytics solution brief here.


Mobile Workforce Support: TLC for Devices and Employees

eBook Chapter 6 Mobile Workforce Support

Problems happen—it’s a fact of life in any IT setting. And you can expect even more issues when employees travel far and wide with their mobile devices, rather than working safely at a desktop machine. By making sure that your support setup is top notch, you’ll keep devices humming and employees happy.

Part six in our mobility solution brief series focuses on why mobile workforce support is critical to the success of your mobility initiative and how to:

  • Face the mobile support reality. Dealing with the care and feeding of mobile devices isn’t really comparable to supporting other areas of your IT infrastructure. After all, mobility is a completely different animal. Delve into the unique challenges of mobility support—heterogeneous devices (some of which may be employee-owned), uncontrollable environmental impacts, and more. Consider some of the disconnects in how most help desks approach mobility and handle this growing area of support.
  • Find your support mojo. As you determine how to accommodate daily issues with mobile devices, make sure that you’ve considered the big picture, too. Think about how bring-your-own-device (and bring-your-own-app) programs affect support, and examine self-service opportunities that can help keep employees up and running without overtaxing your help-desk staff. 
  • Remove the element of surprise. Responsiveness is the primary concern when it comes to helping employees address technical difficulties. To maintain an acceptable level of response, you need to anticipate the demand for support. Review the most common problem areas for smartphones, tablets, and ruggedized devices. Determine what other pieces of the mobile workforce support puzzle—depot services, outsourced help desk, locator tools—need to be in place for a comprehensive solution.

Find out more—read our mobile workforce support solution brief here.


Address Management Challenges, Reap Big Rewards

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Managing mobile environments is a difficult task, and not for the faint of heart. Part five in our series of mobility solution briefs delves into the challenges associated with mobility management, including areas such as:

  • Finding the right strategy and mindset.

    The mobile landscape changes at a frenetic pace; what was considered revolutionary just a few years ago is now common practice. Take a look at some of the factors—from new device types to app evolution—that can affect management policies and practices. Learn how to think ahead so that your management strategy can accommodate your organization’s changing needs without compromising your devices, your data, or your users’ productivity.

  • Balancing software solutions and services.

    There’s a lot out there to help you keep your mobile environment in check and healthy, but the best strategy is to employ an amalgam of tools so that you have devices, apps, and data covered. Find out how to evaluate available management tools and learn about the next generation of solutions. In addition, determine which elements (dynamic policies, network access control, and cloud services, to name a few) you should focus on for holistic mobility management.

  • Getting results.

    Mobility for mobility’s sake just doesn’t make sense. As you pull together the right pieces of your management strategy, bear in mind why you’re doing this in the first place. Keep your eye on the prize by taking a look at the benefits that comprehensive, efficient mobility management can bring.

Want to learn more? Find our solution brief on mobility management here.


Mobile Security: Protect and Serve

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Security is difficult in any IT environment. It’s especially challenging when you’re trying to secure portable devices that can go (or be left behind!) just about anywhere. Part four in our series of mobility solution briefs takes a closer look at how best to protect your mobile investments, with topics such as:

  • Planning your mobile security roadmap.

    Your security strategy needs to meet not just your own business needs but also those of the larger business community. Learn how to stay flexible enough to empower your employees through bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and smart security policies while safeguarding your devices and data from security breaches.

  • Choosing the right security software.

    You can take your pick from a myriad of software solutions that help with mobile security, but putting all your eggs in one software basket won’t provide comprehensive protection. Find out how to balance mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), and mobile content management (MCM) software with more targeted security solutions to properly defend your mobile environment.

  • Employing the security methods that are right for you.

    There’s a lot to think about as you delve deeper into mobile security—from single sign-on to security analytics, the list goes on. Dig into some of the choices that can make a big difference when you face the real-world implementation of your mobile security strategy.

Want more details? Find our solution brief on mobile security here.


The Mobile Deployment Puzzle: How to Solve It

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Deployment is an often-overlooked area of a company’s mobile strategy. Get it right, and your employees are off and running without a second thought. Get it wrong, and your mobile initiatives will suffer. Part three in our series of solution briefs will guide you through the ins and outs of deployment, including:

  • Strategies for a measured, headache-free rollout.

    Managers and employees tend to be eager to adopt new mobile devices, and their enthusiasm can put pressure on IT departments to get devices into everyone’s hands quickly. Learn what up-front work is necessary—from scripting settings to choosing the right accessories—to ensure that the devices are ready to use and that you have a protocol in place when employees need help.

  • Unexpected deployment situations.

    Sometimes it doesn’t matter how carefully you plan your deployment. Specific business scenarios call for rapid deployment and make even the most organized IT departments scramble for reinforcements. And, much as you might not expect it, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs have an impact on corporate rollouts, too. Read about what you can do to prepare for these situations so you can be an IT hero in times of need.

  • Soup-to-nuts deployment.

    A solid rollout has all the bases covered, including purchasing decisions, app testing, asset management, and device disposal. Even the nimblest companies can have trouble predicting the impact that their mobile deployments will have on their organizations. Learn more about the different aspects of deployment so you can stay true to your mobility goals of optimizing employee productivity and maximizing your return on investment.

Get help solving your mobile deployment puzzle today – download the solution brief.


Application ABCs: How to ensure that you’re making smart decisions about mobile apps

 

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As mobile enterprise apps become more prevalent in the marketplace, companies must face a long list of decisions before they can offer their employees this welcome efficiency boost. Part two in our series walks you through some of these considerations, including:

  • App strategies that won’t break the bank.

    Can you find off-the-shelf apps that will work for you, or do you have to build your own? You’ll only know after you figure out your mobile app needs in several key areas. If you buy apps, make sure you’ve vetted them to avoid overloading your help desk and emptying your piggy bank on the wrong tools. Learn how to develop a comprehensive app strategy that will set you on the right path and keep you from the dreaded trial-and-error approach.

  • Effective mobile app development.

    It may be possible to customize off-the-shelf apps to arrive at affordable tools that will suit your business. Or perhaps your existing desktop apps can easily be extended into your mobile environment. If not, you’ll need to enter the world of mobile app development. Learn how to weigh the pros and cons of native, web, and hybrid apps, based on factors like the nature of your mobile environment and your dev team’s areas of expertise. You’ll also need to determine which platforms to work on.

  • App delivery and ongoing management.

    You have apps in hand… now what? Read about how to distribute and manage those apps, possibly with the help of a mobile application management (MAM) solution that includes an enterprise app store. Learn how you can use MAM software to help set up and secure your apps, enable “dual-persona” environments, and set policies regarding corporate data. By getting app management right the first time, you’ll inspire user confidence and achieve the productivity gains that mobility can bring to strategic companies.

Interested in reading more? Find our solution brief on mobile enterprise apps here.

 

 

 


All about Mobility: How your company can create a long-term mobile strategy

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A revolution is taking place, and it’s happening in every corporate office across the globe. Mobile devices have completely transformed the way we work, and with the increasing capabilities of the next generation of devices, the need to incorporate mobility into your strategic planning is only going to increase.

So how do you tap into this potential? Mobile phones and tablets aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and a successful mobile strategy will have to think long-term in order to benefit your business.

To help guide you, we’re launching a series of solution briefs covering everything from mobility planning to device deployment. We’ll be posting them on the blog frequently, so we recommend you check back regularly. Our first solution brief on enterprise mobility planning offers tips on:

How to get your strategy off the ground

Like any good plan, developing a strategy always comes first. Planning for your mobile enterprise today and tomorrow will help save you money and prevent duplication of efforts. It’ll also protect your corporate data and enable your employees to do more.

Thinking beyond the device

Blackberries used to rule the enterprise, and your mobility strategy simply involved securing the end device. Today, this is no longer the case, and now you have to take devices, apps, data, storage, content and telecom expenses into consideration.

Aligning your business goals

Take heed: don’t invest in mobility for the sake of mobility. This is the easiest way to ensure no return on your investment. Your mobility strategy must align with your business goals and not just your goals for this year, but your long-term business goals too.

Our solution brief on enterprise mobility training is available for download here.

 


Survey of IT Execs Identifies Enterprise Mobility Challenges and Trends

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Organizations talk about the value of mobility in specific terms—productivity, reduced costs, better customer service, agility in the marketplace—but to what extent are they taking steps to realize these benefits? How many even have a strategy for deploying mobility across the enterprise, much less for implementing specific mobility solutions?

A recent survey explores the status of enterprise mobility in terms of its importance to organizations, what kinds of strategies they’re developing to make mobility work, and what their concerns are about it. In other words, what are organizations actually doing about enterprise mobility right now, and what will they be doing in the next several months?

The survey of more than 200 IT executives across a range of mid- to large-size businesses offers some interesting results. Not surprising is the large number of organizations that identify enterprise mobility as an increasingly important part of their business that will play a significant part in their upcoming IT plans. Also not surprising is that many companies do not yet have a well-defined strategy for putting their ideas and plans into practice. What is surprising is just how wide the gap is: 82 percent say mobility is very important, but only 8 percent have a well-defined strategy and have executed on it.

The obstacles that prevent reluctant organizations from jumping deeper into the mobility pool are exactly what mobility solutions and solution providers are intended to address: security measures, cost management, a lack of expertise within the company, and the development and management of mobile apps. Of these, security is the biggest concern, and it overlaps with concerns about mobile apps. Organizations want to understand how apps fit into a picture that keeps corporate data separated and protected from user data. Many IT departments are aware that mobile device management (MDM) solutions can play a big part in providing this security, but very few (less than 50 percent) actually have a solution in place. (And again, even when they have one, it’s rarely part of a larger, overall strategy.)

Many organizations don’t realize how flexible and wide-ranging their mobility options are. For example, beyond MDM alone, they may not realize they can mix and match solutions for MDM, mobile application management (MAM), mobile content management (MCM), intelligence, analysis, monitoring, and so on. If they did realize this, the companies may feel more confident about going forward with deployment. (As a side note, the survey results also reinforce the importance of having a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy to promote security and efficiency—an important reminder for the few organizations that don’t already have a one.)

Finally, the survey shows that many of the IT executives do recognize that their companies will need outside help to address their security and other concerns. Half are considering a mobility-as-a-service model, bundling services, and using outside providers for most or all of these services. Also, most of the organizations that have strategies at least partially underway are emphasizing components that make good sense as part of any strategy. That means outside providers will not have the burden of trying to sell a solution that the organizations aren’t familiar or comfortable with. Still, developing a strategy has to come before deploying any solutions. The key will be for the providers to get involved early and educate organizations on the range of services and solutions that they need and how they fit into the big picture.

To learn more about the challenges of enterprise mobility and how IT leaders plan to address them, download the full research report.


In Case You Missed Them . . . A Quick Recap of July’s Webinars

Summer is typically a busy time, so you may have missed one or more of the outstanding webinars that we hosted this past July. The great thing about a webinar, of course, is that the content is still available, so it’s not too late to take advantage of the following:

The Irresistible Force of BYOD—How to Get it Running Securely

In this webinar, my colleague Marco Nielsen, VP of Services and Chief Mobility Architect at Enterprise Mobile, shares tips for selecting the right mobility solutions for successful BYOD (bring-your-own-device) programs, from strategy through execution and support. Marco talks about the importance of understanding your specific user segments and requirements. Once you’ve reached this understanding, you can develop the correct usage policies and support models to minimize frustration and control IT budget.

Of course, creating those policies can be tricky business. Organizations need to enforce required policies on corporate information while working around the personal information that’s usually installed on users’ devices. Marco details seven key areas for policy creation, ranging from policies around device and data plans to policies about apps and privacy.

For many organizations, implementing BYOD programs can feel like a series of unknowns, but Marco walks through some of the process-related questions that smart organizations ask and answer at the outset. He also stresses the importance of security and proper execution through management solutions. Watch the webinar to find out some useful mobile application management and security best practices, plus how to avoid the “gotchas” related to support. After viewing the webinar, you’ll be able to confidently move forward with your own BYOD programs, staying at the forefront of mobility trends and fostering improved productivity and user satisfaction. If you need help getting started on your BYOD policy, check out the BYOD Policy Template.

How to Simplify Your Mobile Application Development Process

Today’s users expect a lot more from mobile devices than the ability to access email on the go. CRM  (customer reference management), invoicing, sales—the list goes on when it comes to apps that users want on their mobile devices.

As they deepen their commitment to mobility, many more organizations are building new, custom apps to address their evolving business needs. The mobile app development process isn’t easy, so this webinar shares ways to simplify that process. The webinar’s panel discussion features experts such as Neil McHugh, Director of Global Software at Intermec Technologies; Garrick Fiala, Software Engineering Manager at Intermec Technologies; and Marco Nielsen, VP of Services and Chief Mobility Architect at Enterprise Mobile.

Our panelists identify some of the processes that are most worth mobilizing, from field sales to business reporting, and they also suggest the best ways to get started. One of their primary areas of focus is secure mobility—the panel takes a look at safeguarding apps through a multilayered security program.

Custom development of mobile apps isn’t for everybody, so the panel examines cases in which it’s more practical to port legacy apps to new platforms, in addition to situations where from-scratch development makes more sense. The group explores off-the-shelf versus in-house development and notes that if you’re considering developing a mobile app, you need to think about which version of HTML to use based on the speed of your development plans. It’s also important to determine whether to run the mobile app in the cloud or on-premises.

Regardless of where your organization currently stands on the mobile app spectrum, knowing your options and all the pros and cons of custom mobile app development will help you make the right decisions as you continue to invest in mobility. Watch the webinar to learn more.

 


Do You Need a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) Provider?

Do You Need a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) Provider_BLOG IMAGEAs more employees use mobile devices and create increased demand for mobile apps in the workplace, organizations have to figure out the best way to shoulder the burden that comes with mobility. Gone are the days of managing a homogeneous stable of Blackberry devices. Today, mobility equals complexity.

Some organizations have a large IT staff and the infrastructure to support mobility management, while resources at other organizations are already maxed out. Some decision makers like spending time investigating and evaluating all the device, app, and management options out there, while others would prefer to focus on the company’s core business and leave mobility strategy to the experts. Some want to make sure their infrastructure, help-desk staff, and budgets can handle peaks in mobile usage, while others choose to work with outside partners to make mobility management an ongoing operational expense.

The mobility outsourcers of the past primarily handled device management, but today’s mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) providers offer a complete lifecycle of mobility services. Considering the speed with which the mobile landscape changes, MaaS providers can offer strategic expertise to advise organizations about direction, trends, and how to make the most of their mobile investments.

For many organizations, working with a MaaS provider allows for the right combination of involvement, control, and financial stability. Organizations can rely on their MaaS providers to:

  • Help set mobile strategy
  • Determine the best devices, apps, and management tools for their needs
  • Develop custom apps as appropriate
  • Track advancements in mobile technology
  • Manage the infrastructure
  • Ensure the right mix of device, app, and infrastructure security
  • Provide around-the-clock support
  • Monitor usage and optimize the environment
  • Make strategic recommendations as the market changes

Along the way, those organizations can scale up and down as necessary, paying only for what they need. They also gain flexibility when it comes to device types, apps, and management because their MaaS provider handles the support for the range of mobile solutions. And, of course, they transform their mobile infrastructure and its management from a capital expense into a consistent operational one.

Organizations in highly regulated industries and areas, such as financial services and government, may not be able to benefit from MaaS because many are required to maintain complete control of their assets. This may change over time, as MaaS proceeds along the security continuum.

Many others, however, are taking advantage of mobility advancements and even using them as competitive differentiators, thanks to the insights that their MaaS providers offer. Not all MaaS providers are created equal, so make sure you find the right one for you. Many have skills in a particular area (mobile support, mobile app development, etc.), but very few reach across the entire mobile lifecycle to help with everything from planning to business intelligence and analytics.

Read more about MaaS and how Enterprise Mobile can help you get the greatest value out of mobility.