Your Budget is Your Strategy: Key Considerations for 2014

2014 Tablet Calendar

Enterprise mobility gets plenty of attention, but when budget season rolls around, it’s important to focus as much on the fundamentals as on the latest industry trends. Creating a budget is more than just number-crunching—it’s a strategic activity that is influenced by device usability, security, logistics, and collaboration. Focusing on the six key items below will help your organization increase profitability and productivity for 2014 and beyond.

1. Hardware and connectivity.

Companies have a myriad of mobile device options, creating the need to navigate a sea of hardware types and operating system variations. Furthermore, customers must pay attention to the influences created by bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. Hardware selection can be based on a variety of factors, such as form factor, wireless carrier compatibility, battery life, application availability, screen size, and more. For corporate-owned assets, evaluating leasing versus capital expenditure is important, not just to spread out costs but to enable a vehicle for consistent device refresh. Hardware, usage, and data costs are strongly influenced by your BYOD strategy. If you’re moving toward a stipend BYOD model and retiring corporate devices, your hardware lifecycle costs might decrease. However, there will be new factors to consider, such as whether employees are being reimbursed for data plans on additional personal devices. It’s also important to take into account the number of employees who still use corporate-liable devices—such as salespeople or those with access to protected data.

2. Security and management.

As your mobile user base grows, so will costs for security and mobile device management (MDM), including software licensing, support, hosting, and administration. With the rise of cloud-based MDM solutions, many companies are turning the capital costs of MDM servers into more predictable operational costs by paying for security software monthly or annually. On the security side, platform- and application-level security measures need to be consistently updated in light of evolving threats. It is also important to invest in user education and engagement, which is an inexpensive and effective way to reduce security risks.

3. Mobile support.

Help-desk costs can vary greatly depending on the mix of employee-owned and corporate-owned devices. For corporate-owned devices, employees expect support for issues involving hardware, applications, device replacement, and more. On the BYOD side, users can self-support to some degree, but BYOD programs don’t eliminate the need for help-desk services. Some companies offer users full access to a traditional phone-based help desk; others provide employee-to-employee communities or limit support to self-service resources. Costs will vary depending on your model.

4. Application planning, development, costs, and support.

Apps are at the heart of mobile productivity. In addition to licensing costs for third-party apps and development costs for internally built apps, companies need to consider the cost of creating, maintaining, deploying, and supporting in-house apps. Corporate-owned devices are ideal for the addition of applications to drive customer service and productivity gains. In a BYOD scenario, ensuring that everyone has access to the apps they need can be more expensive than with corporate-owned devices. Support also comes into play in the app space. If users come to rely on certain apps for day-to-day work, resources need to be available when those apps aren’t functioning properly or if an end user needs help using them.

5. Lost and broken equipment costs.

Sometimes mobile devices get damaged, lost, or stolen. The costs may vary depending on your company’s policies, but the risks should be taken into account regardless. Although, “bring your own” can also mean “fix your own” and “replace your own,” that’s not always the case, particularly if the device is damaged while an employee is on the job. And your organization will definitely be responsible for covering the costs associated with corporate-owned devices. Ensuring that devices are quickly replaced is key to maximizing the value of your investment in corporate-owned mobile devices.

6. Content management and collaboration.

With the basics of your mobility strategy largely addressed, the next step is to extend capability and access to deployed devices. Before doing so, it is critical to consider how content will be securely managed, accessed, and shared. With a variety of tools available, including cloud-based, on-premises, and hybrid implementation approaches, enterprise customers need to determine the best way to enable and endorse content collaboration while mitigating risk.

With your budgets and plans in order for 2014, you have a solid foundation for tackling key strategic priorities. To get a head start on your BYOD plans or mobility strategy updates, check out these resources.


Why the Gartner Magic Quadrant Matters

 

Here at Enterprise Mobile, we believe that we provide top-of-the-line services in the mobility space. Well, it turns out that we’re not the only ones who feel this way. I’m happy to report that Enterprise Mobile has been recognized by Gartner in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services (MMS) for our ability to execute and our completeness of vision.

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Magic Quadrant Methodology

This is the first year that Gartner has applied its Magic Quadrant methodology to managed services for enterprise mobile devices. Gartner focused its research on vendors that manage pools of globally distributed, corporate-liable devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users. The company divided MMS into six categories, all of which Enterprise Mobile provides as part of our composite services:

  • Sourcing and logistics
  • Mobile service management
  • Device and system management
  • Application and messaging management
  • Security and content management
  • Program and financial management

 

Our Differentiators

We like to think that Gartner differentiated us from other providers because of our Enterprise Mobility Planning, Mobile Workforce Support, Mobility Monitoring Intelligence and Analytics services across a broad range of devices. Gartner also called out a number of our strengths:

  • We rated well for help desk, device sourcing, hardware support, and software support.
  • We are considered a strong provider of device provisioning.
  • We were praised by customers for our expense and asset management services.
  • We rated well for program management.
  • We were regarded for our expertise specific to mobile device technology.

So why is being part of the Magic Quadrant such an honor? Because the Magic Quadrant is a trusted, impartial research tool that provides a critical first step for those evaluating emerging technologies. This recognition is evidence of our true mobility focus.

2013 Milestones

In addition to our rating as a top company in this space, we have achieved numerous other milestones in 2013, many of which have positively affected our service commitments. A few of these achievements include:

  • Exceeded 500,000 mobile devices under management for managed services
  • Introduced global capabilities—we now provide in-region deployment and depot services across 70+ countries
  • Introduced a global telecom expense management (TEM) service that allows customers to leverage Enterprise Mobile for e-Procurement and ongoing optimization of wireless carrier spend (with an average savings of US$10 to $15 per device per month!)
  • Partnered with Box to provide cloud-based content management and collaboration
  • Introduced managed services for Mac OS
  • Enhanced our position and services for a variety of mobile device management solutions, including MobileIron, AirWatch, Citrix XenMobile, SAP, Symantec, SOTI, and others

The mobility market is changing at a whirlwind rate, and we’re proud that Enterprise Mobile has the depth of experience and service excellence to be identified as part of an elite group of providers that can keep pace. And we truly believe that we help set that pace, which means our customers lead the pack when it comes to forward-thinking mobility strategy and execution.

 image via: Gartner


Why Effective Mobility Support is the Key to Faster ROI

Mobility-Support-and-ROI_BLOG IMAGEMobility is increasingly recognized by business and technology leaders as a major source of innovation and competitive advantage. In fact, according to a 2013 survey of more than 2,000 CIOs by a leading analyst firm, investment in mobile technologies ranks second on their Top 10 List of Technology Priorities.

But in the rush to get ahead of the mobility curve, many companies underestimate what it takes to effectively support mobile employees. Lack of adequate planning to ensure fast deployment and responsive support can seriously undermine productivity and overwhelm IT workloads. These kinds of formidable headwinds make it difficult to show return on mobility investment. Below are a few ways to navigate these pitfalls.

Top Three Methods for Maximizing Mobility ROI
There are numerous ways to think about measuring return on a mobile investment. Regardless of what metrics are used, it ultimately comes down to whether or not the devices that employees depend on are up and running when they need them. When considering how to shorten the payback period for mobility, business and IT leaders should focus on the following three best practices:

1. Avoid Delays in Delivering Devices
The benefits of providing employees with mobile access to email, critical business apps, and collaboration sites can be powerful. Still, these potential gains in productivity are entirely dependent on getting employees a fully configured and personalized device in as little time as possible.

For example, if a provider says it’s going to take a year to get 500 iPads configured and shipped (this timeline is more common than you might think), your organization foregoes the prospect of more productive and satisfied remote workers during that time. And, of course, there’s the risk of investing in technology that’s already a year-old by the time employees can use it. Given the pace of innovation in the mobile market, a lot can change in the span of 12 months.

2. Provide Responsive, Mobile-Optimized Support
In my view, one of the biggest oversights in mobility planning involves helpdesk setup and management. Truth is, most enterprise IT administrators are either too busy or lack the specific domain training and expertise to properly support mobility deployments.  Some companies make the assumption that, because the majority of their employees have smartphones and tablets for personal use, they’ll require minimal technical support for their work device. This leap of faith often backfires, with far reaching implications for productivity, mobile adoption rates, and IT efficiency.

When mobility helpdesk calls come flooding in, overburdened IT staff are forced to shelve other high-priority projects. Or, worse yet, if they’re unable to resolve the issue in-house, they need to send employees to sit in telecom carrier call queues. Outside of their company’s normal business hours, or when no one in IT is available to assist, employees have few options but to wait. This situation never bodes well for productivity and can often sap morale over time.

3. Streamline Device Repair and Replacement
Over the years, enterprise IT groups have found ways to expedite the process of getting newly reimaged laptops into the hands of employees. Yet, when it comes to replacing and reconfiguring mobile devices, the prevailing assumption seems to be that waiting up to two weeks for a handset manufacturer or other vendor to deliver a new device is an acceptable norm. Of course, during this time, employees have to revert to their previous way of doing things—the cumbersome processes that mobile access was intended to fix.

In their haste to capture the benefits of mobility, business and IT executives often underestimate what it takes to adequately support mobile workers. The most commonly overlooked factors include fast time to market for mobile devices, the need for a dedicated, 24x7x365 mobile helpdesk, and standardized, SLA-driven timelines for device repair and replacement. To realize rapid return on investment in mobility, it is imperative that companies address these needs.  By working with a mobility services provider, companies can streamline mobile deployments and remain focused on these priorities—while easing the burden for their IT team. This ultimately means that mobile employees can spend more time collaborating with colleagues and customers, and less time waiting.

Read more about how Enterprise Mobile can help support your mobile workforce to maximize productivity and accelerate ROI.


What’s Next in Enterprise Mobility

What’s Next in Enterprise Mobility_BLOG IMAGEToday’s mobile landscape is shifting more quickly than a late-model sports car. New feature-rich devices, security advancements, and innovative content management options mean that organizations have a lot to consider. Being aware of some of the coming trends will help you make smart choices as you look down the road.

Emphasis on Apps and Content

Until recently, most organizations have focused on which devices to deploy, but more and more are starting to put thought into enterprise apps (whether purchased off the shelf or custom developed) and content management. New online storage options provide flexibility in the way that organizations think about where content lives and the kinds of connectivity that are required to use and share that content. For example, a retailer could use a solution like Box to remotely push targeted content to the devices used by employees on the retail floor each day. That content might include details about daily sale items, videos about seasonal items, or tips for product usage, all of which employees could share with customers—without needing WiFi connectivity to download the content. Having new, industry-specific solutions to choose from can help you get ahead and derive the most value from your mobile environment.

Expanded Mobility

Adoption There have been several highly regulated industries that have not yet been able to take full advantage of mobility in general and Mobility-as-a-Service in particular. But as more organizations push to equip employees with mobile devices, some of those walls are coming down. Already, governments, healthcare organizations, and even financial services companies are starting to do more with mobile devices in limited use cases. That trend is likely to continue as vendors place greater emphasis on the enterprise mobile environment, rather than the current focus on consumers. Vendors will, by necessity, improve their security and encryption layers to give those in highly regulated industries greater flexibility when it comes to mobile device use and Mobility-as-a-Service options.

Replacement of Traditional Tools

So far, mobile devices have been considered an “and,” rather than an “or” in the business setting. Organizations deploy laptops and smartphones, tablets and traditional devices. But increased device power, processing speed, portability, and robust functionality is changing that. Soon we’ll start to see a true replacement; organizations may stop deploying laptops and only adopt tablets, or they might remove credit card processing machines and have employees use smartphones instead.

Specialty Solutions – Native Capabilities

Today, there are several niche solutions—such as those associated with mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), and mobile content management (MCM)—that organizations need to consider and deploy to properly manage their mobile environments. As more organizations invest in mobile management software, there will be greater incentive for new players to enter the marketplace, which may cause a quantum shift in the way that MDM, MAM, and MCM are handled. Operating system developers may start to natively incorporate those capabilities. As a result, it will be critical for specialty solution providers to innovate to bring new capabilities to the industry. Even with this forward-thinking approach, it is likely that mobile management vendors will need to deal with market consolidation in the months and years ahead.

Next Steps

But you can’t wait for tomorrow’s advancements. Your organization’s productivity and overall effectiveness depends on putting the right mobile strategy in place today. However, keeping the industry’s fluidity in mind can be helpful as you invest in mobility. Here are a few suggestions for making the most of your mobile environment now, without locking you out of future capabilities:

  • Consider using subscription services rather than purchasing full licenses so that you can get the tools you need without long-term commitments.
  • Lease devices to give your employees the latest and greatest features but retain the ability to refresh as new devices enter the market.
  • Carefully determine the reasons for upgrading your mobile environment; don’t do it just for the sake of staying current. Make sure you’re investing in the right devices, apps, and storage options, and know what’s coming down the pike.
  • Think about storage. Larger file sizes make finding appropriate storage solutions an imperative. Make sure you know where you’ll store your content and how you can access and easily share it.

For help determining the next steps in mobility for your organization, learn more about Enterprise Mobile and watch the recent webcast about putting the right mobile strategy in place.