Things You Should Consider Before Buying An Enterprise Mobility Solution
Updated on May 4th, 2021
As enterprises move towards becoming completely mobile, there has been a rapid spike in the demand of enterprise grade mobility solutions. But making an enterprise completely mobile is a trick puzzle that needs to be solved with great care and concentration. The first attempt to crack this puzzle usually is to allow employees to use their own mobile devices. BYOD culture is still going on mostly because there is no major overhead for the employers since they don’t have to buy these devices. But there are more than a few setbacks of BYOD culture. The first one on the list is the quality of the device. While most common user devices are flashy and fancy looking, the fact of the matter is that they are not up to the task of handling enterprise-level load of work. When we are talking about 24*7 working, we need devices that can deliver on this without any drop in efficiency and quality. Furthermore, issues like battery degradation, security, and poor durability are of concern as well.
So if you are truly looking forward to going mobile, then you might want to consider the right tools, both hardware and software. To reiterate ourselves, there is a massive demand for enterprise-grade mobility solutions in the market and there are vendors out there who are trying to fulfill it. But the tricky thing for a buyer is to pick a vendor or a tool that works for him. Out of so many options, it can sometimes be an overwhelming task to pick one. So today we will talk about things that you need to consider while assessing a mobility solution for your enterprise environment and take a look at some questions that you need to ask yourself as well.
Things to consider in assessing a mobility solution for the enterprise environment
1. It should fit your enterprise
Before picking a mobile tool for your enterprise, you need to make sure that it will serve your needs. The number of devices and software in the market is enough to baffle anyone. So the key thing to remember is that you pick a tool that supports and simplifies your work culture. For instance, in your factories, if your manager who has to move around a lot is given a durable and powerful device which is, at the same time, clunky and hard to carry, then the cons outweigh the pros since the device cannot be carried around.
In a similar fashion, suppose you are choosing an enterprise management software to keep a track of all your employees and their works and see if they have anything in their backlogs, etc. But this solution doesn’t run on any of the devices that you have purchased. Or perhaps the software isn’t robust enough to serve your needs.
Choosing the wrong mobility tools can be disastrous and expensive. So you need to ask yourself if the mobility solution that you are about to buy is easy to carry, durable, secure and has all the features that you need. On top of all that, make sure that the device that you are buying has enough battery to run for 8-10 hours straight.
2. It should perform and give results
The reason why BYOD culture is hazardous to enterprises is because they are not up to the task. Flashy mobile devices get heated-up really fast and their battery backup is not sufficient for long periods of working. At the same point, they are fragile and very easily break. When you are carrying a device around, the chances are that at some point, you are going to drop it. You may not be a clumsy person, but even the best of us can be clumsy at times. So a device that breaks easily doesn’t suit a work environment in which your employees have to move a lot.
The software that you choose for your enterprise should make it easier for your employees to connect with each other. If you are running it on cloud, then it should not face any down-time or lags or be affected in any way by the traffic- It should be able to provide uniform performance through the enterprise. It should also be secure and not vulnerable to viruses and hackers.
This is something BYOD devices fall really far behind. Since it is a civilian device, it is used by its owner for purposes other than just work. So there might be some sort of virus in his device. And since he is using this device as an access point to your network, it can, unknowingly, release a malicious software and bring your entire enterprise to a screeching halt.
But if you have your own devices for your enterprises then you can install a lot of safety measures to make sure that no such malicious software makes it way to your network. Furthermore, installing an additional layer of security around your network is a good idea as well.
3. It should be durable and scalable
Durability of a device in an enterprise environment is of utmost importance simply because as we said earlier, mobile devices fall or are damaged in one or another. Also,it is just not about remaining intact externally its about the durability of its innards as well. For how long can a device serve its intended purpose flawlessly before the quality curve starts to go down. If you have to change a device in every six months, then that is a bad investment. A device should, at least, last a year before you need to have to take it out of rotation. Over-heating is also a sign of poor durability.
When we talk about scalability, especially for software products, we mean that your mobile solutions should easily allow you to increase your users and at the same time, it should not give you any hassle when you are trying to roll back a little. Flexibility to use is also a concern. If you are using enterprise devices and cloud infrastructure for team management tools, then only those devices should be able to get into the network.But at the same time, there are some less critical software like chat software that your employees should be allowed to have on their private devices. This way, they can still be in contact with their teammates and even you when they are not in the office.
4. Managing these devices should be easy
Buying enterprise mobility solutions is a different thing and managing them is different. Enterprise mobile management or Mobile Device Management allows enterprises to manage their in-house mobile devices and check their health, security, data that is being stored on them and other such details from a centralized hub.
This can also mean that you get to control these devices and shut them down if you have to. As an administrator, you should have the access to install and uninstall applications and software from these devices, your employees should not be able to use these devices for anything else. This makes your network more secure.
This also gives you a chance to customize those devices according to the needs of the user. This can help them in providing better services to the customer, if they are being used in stores, because they will have the appropriate tools and data.
Questions you should ask yourself while assessing an enterprise mobile solution
1. How will our employees be impacted by our mobility solution?
Everytime a company is going mobile, one of the biggest push back that they get is from their employees. Nobody likes changes and your employees are no different. So even if you invest heavily in bringing mobility to your enterprise, without a willing workforce, you are just throwing that money down the drain.
So to make it a little easier for your employees to adapt to this new way of working, you need to ask yourself how it will impact them.
The biggest obstacle that you can face is of trust. Whenever you will try to put in a management mechanism with which you can track the work of your employees and then their locations and other such things, trust issues are bound to spring up. This can lead to their disapproval of the new system and even complete non-compliance. So you need to make sure that you handle this with great care. Make management policies with the help of your vendors that don’t create panic among your employees and respect their privacy as well.
2. Will my internal resources be able to maintain a mobility management system?
Your in-house IT-resources are usually the people who look after the devices -their security, their health, etc. But what most companies don’t understand before going mobile is that no matter how durable or fault-tolerant their device or software might be, it is going to break. So you will need people who can fix these issues as soon as they appear. Furthermore, if the number of devices and software products in use is bigger, then you will need multiple IT resources so that there is nothing hampering your employee’s productivity.
So before you opt for a mobile solution, ask yourself if your current resources can handle such a massive undertaking. If the answer is yes, then go right on ahead. But if the answer is no, then don’t worry, all’ not lost yet. You can hire IT-resources for your mobility needs. In the end, what it really boils down to is how much are you willing to spend on IT resources.
3. How will compliance work in the enterprise?
Compliance is the founding principle of enterprise mobility. People need to follow your policies in order to use a device or gain access to your network. This starts a culture of being held credible. By signing policy forms and waivers, you are securing your devices and networks and making sure that nobody abuses it.
But making these policies is a tricky task. A lot of it can be proactive, since you already know that these issues can arise you can create policies to make sure it doesn’t. But some issues are very rare and it is only when they have happened that we can start making policies for them.
To make sure that your employees understand your policies and what are the dos and don’ts, they need to be educated properly and all new police changes have to be propagated to them before they are enforced so they have the time to go through them.
4. Is my mobile environment sophisticated enough?
Tradition MDM allows you to monitor devices, their content and track its location. Which used to be enough. But those times are long gone now. Tracking devices is simply not enough any more. Also, no matter how many restrictions you put in, people use their personal devices to access your company’s network. In that case, MDM fails to do anything. Thus you need to look towards the future and start thinking about EMM tools. They provide extensive features to monitor your network and every device that is logging on to it. Furthermore, they were very comprehensive, so if your needs are more than just device monitoring and application concerns, then you should think of choosing EMM over MDM.
The business world is quickly racing towards mobility. It brings them the ability to be flexible, to be more productive and make use of their resources more efficiently. Major players in almost all the industries, from healthcare to production and IT, are investing heavily in getting their own enterprise-grade devices and software to better monitor their employees’ performance and work. MDM and EMM allows an administrator to not only keep a check of a device’s health or secure a network, it also allows them to manage his team remotely and track the location of the devices. By having the right to choose who enters your network and who doesn’t, can save you from a lot of cyber threats. A lot of errors can also be fixed remotely if you have a sophisticated enterprise mobility management system that can track a device’s health and even find out any malicious application that might be active or dormant on it. Furthermore, these tools should allow you to terminate these threats remotely as well.
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