The mobile industry is fast-paced and constantly evolving. What started as a basic form of communication has evolved to ever-present connectivity, which, when used properly, allows organizations to gain a competitive edge in their marketplace. As mobility continues to grow, the complexity of managing an enterprise mobile environment escalates as well. Encumbered with a seemingly endless number of devices, platforms, operating systems, and applications, it has been difficult to understand, let alone manage, the mobile landscape.
As a result, Mobility Managed Services (MMS) have emerged as a way to address this constant change within the mobile landscape, geared as a long-term solution, versus the more project-based traditional management of mobility. MMS looks at how enterprises are developing their mobility management for the future against what has been done in the past.
This is an intriguing new way to uncover some of the competitive advantages that managing mobility correctly can present. In fact, GigaOm Research’s Sector RoadMap™ Managed Mobility Services recently reported that more than 85 percent of businesses are currently outsourcing— or would consider outsourcing—a portion of their mobility strategy to an MMS provider just to have it done and done well. However, before you release your goods, it is important to understand your current environment and how to gain visibility into cost, risk, and productivity. To simplify this process and develop a winning MMS strategy, I’ve outlined six key processes and procedures to focus on:
- Create a Mobile Policy Checklist
Policy is an integral part of mobility management. A poor policy = weak strategy. When developing a comprehensive mobile policy I recommend focusing on eligibility and entitlement; scope (global or regional); device support; local laws; blacklisted/whitelisted applications; device monitoring; and data ownership.
- Choose the Right Operating System
Since each operating system has different pros and cons, it’s critical that you choose the best system for your mobile environment. I recommend using a simple checklist and asking questions like “How will the user interact with the device?” to help guide your selection. Let’s examine the different options:
- Apple iOS – iOS is a popular choice due to its ease of internal management and quick deployment. This is a good option if your user base is generally interested in accessing and consuming information.
- Android – Organizations that need end-user flexibility and are geared toward producing content tend to select this operating system. Because most organizations are Windows-based, this OS allows employees to replicate their PC work setup on their Android devices.
- BlackBerry – BlackBerry puts an emphasis on simplicity and basic communication. As business apps, agility, and innovation are becoming the focus in the enterprise, more organizations are migrating away from BlackBerry as a mobile solution.
- Decide Which Mobile Apps Matter
There is a seemingly infinite number of enterprise mobile applications available today. Enterprise mobile apps offer real-time collaboration among employees, management, and customers. To help manage these applications and limit the potential negative effects they could have on your enterprise, consider creating a list of approved and non-approved applications to share with employees.
- Manage Consumption of Data
End-users are consuming more data than ever before and this trend will only continue in the future. As consumers we know that carriers have moved away from unlimited data plans to take advantage of this massive uptick in data usage, and we’re all too familiar with the painful, and costly, realization that comes with going over your data allowance. The same applies to the enterprise side. To prevent your employees from accruing huge data fees, focus on managing data consumption.
- Streamline the Device Lifecycle
As BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becomes further engrained in the corporate world, it is important to implement a BYOD policy that will allow you to manage the logistics surrounding mobile device usage. By using a single point of access for all users, devices can be ordered, provisioned, kitted, tested, staged, containerized, and deployed safely and securely.
- Provide Real End-User Support
Mobile devices require ongoing support to operate at optimal levels. Make sure helpdesk support is available to ensure day-to-day functionality of devices and their associated applications. Incorporating a self-service portal that contains FAQs and other user-friendly resources will help expedite end-user support. Keep in mind, accommodating your user base and providing support for employees’ device needs is imperative to sustaining a productive mobile environment.
By following these six steps you’ll enable your employees to take advantage of the many benefits of mobility, while making sure that it doesn’t break the bank. Check out the full checklist here to learn more: 6 Best Practices for Mobility Management.