Technology is a powerful enabler
It has empowered enterprises who have embraced the evolution to mobile to completely transform their business processes, increase productivity and opened up new sales and communications channels with swathes of new and existing customers. That’s why the global transition to mobile technology and the wholesale retirement of depreciated computer hardware has been surging at a rapid pace in recent years; enterprises have turned to managed mobile devices to work smarter and harder and in a more agile way in order to meet and keep up with customer expectation and demand.
Yet, many enterprises are not taking full advantage of business mobility opportunities. Remote users usually can access email, calendars, contact management and perhaps a few key services and applications but too often it remains on a laptop over the company VPN. While end users are keen to have mission-critical systems accessible wherever they are and from whatever device they are using, IT leaders can’t help but wonder what data and application security or compliance risks that might introduce if they are to truly go mobile first.
Mobile first organisations that require mobile solutions for field sales, customer care, office workers, project management and various other business functions now naturally need to focus their gaze on the security management of these mobile devices that will become the lynchpin of the operation. Whether smartphone or tablet, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) or corporate-issued, there is a crucial decision that enterprises must make in order to comply with their own privacy and security policies in addition to their local laws and regulations.
Should a mobile first organisation adopt a managed or unmanaged device approach?
Whether you have a fleet of tablets supporting your field sales, or you issue smartphones with dedicated VPNs and email apps to all your employees there are three common factors which influence the decision of whether or not to implement a managed device or unmanaged device approach.
1. The security of sensitive enterprise and customer information flowing through mobile devices as well as the protection of the devices themselves from malicious attacks.
2. The maintenance of an optimal employee experience to maintain high productivity.
3. Versatile backend solutions that offer dynamic, transparent and feature rich functionality for Operations departments to support enterprise mobility management.
The case for the Unmanaged Device
The case for unmanaged devices is really no case at all. For small and medium size companies especially, where growth is the primary objective and investment funds are directed into projects that will expand the business, the outlay of investment into an operational management solution can seem hard to bear. This is why a cost/benefit analysis approach is required in order for enterprises to see the true value of the investment both in the short and long term. If your organization is allowing employees to access and use company or customer data with nothing but a set of written security policies your devices are exposed to:
• ‘Man In the Middle’ attacks where undetected remote users have complete access to everything on the device and use it for criminal purposes.
• Attacks from malware such as malicious Ransomware, Crimeware or Spyware attacks.
• Attacks exploiting operating system vulnerabilities such as Rootkits or iOS Masque attacks.
• End users accessing ‘leaky’ apps which can leak enterprise data to public cloud storage accounts
The case for Managed Devices
Managed devices in a mobile first organisation are protected to varying degrees from these risks depending on the solution chosen. A true managed device solution protects both the device and the data flowing through that device. This is why enterprise mobility management (EMM) has become the enterprise default in managed device strategy today since it operates a three tier approach to mobile management covering:
• Mobile Device Management
• Mobile Application Management
• Mobile Content Management
The resulting protection from these three tiers offers companies the following benefits:
Protection of devices and data from malware and malicious attacks.
• Ability to operate separate security policies on BYOD devices which do not interfere with the employee’s personal data and apps.
• Remote Wipe capabilities to safeguard compromised, lost or stolen devices.
• Availability of secure communications via a VPN.
• Higher productivity can increase sales and retentions, enable projects to be deliver faster and increase speed to market.
• Centralised management of devices regardless of operating system or model reduces infrastructure costs for the number of device management platforms.
• Man hours savings harvested from no more arduous and costly individual business processes in the management of multiple devices and platforms.
• Security breach analysis and review costs reduced due to the overall higher security.
• Alignment with the EU GDPR regulations on data protection will remove non-compliance costs.
• Increased business agility as data and device security concerns drive effective business process with fewer latencies and paper based processes.
• True multi device ability across the organisation enabling higher productivity as end users switch from smartphone to tablet to notebook.
• Increased availability in touchpoint channels with the ability to sell in any context and in any location.
To create a future where your organisation can confidently stride towards true enterprise mobility and become a mobile first organisation, you need a comprehensive enterprise mobility management solution from an expert and experienced provider who can leverage partnerships from the best solutions providers in the world. Contact CWSI to find out where your mobile estate is right now and where it can be in the future.