Mobility will be one of the highest priorities for CIOs in 2015, according to Ovum. The introduction of mobile computing to the world of business is pushing forward productivity in key areas, but it is also exposing some shortcomings in security, communication, budgeting, strategy, and IT. How can something that promises to make life easier be causing so much grief? Here, we look at some of the common pitfalls that continue to plague enterprise mobility.
Imagine the complexity of managing charges for tens of thousands of mobile devices a month. Chances are someone in a sample that large will make a mistake, especially if they travel.
Unfortunately, this sort of expense-management fail occurs frighteningly often. According to Visage Mobile, one in 50 companies get hit with a $15,000 roaming charge every month.
To make matters worse, they have also found that “employees who travel internationally are four-times as expensive as those who don’t, simply because they often forget to turn off more costly roaming features upon their return”.
Misconfiguring third-party apps
Gartner recently found that more than 90% of all enterprises use some sort of third-party apps as part of their mobile strategy. While this is great from a turn key perspective, it is also causing some of the largest security gaps in the enterprise.
Gartner predicts that through 2017, “75% of mobile security breaches will be the result of mobile application misconfigurations, rather than the outcome of deeply technical attacks on mobile devices.” The release explains that the classic example is the misuse of cloud services, such as DropBox and iCloud, on devices that are misconfigured and contain sensitive data.
Over and under-secured
A philosophical battle is taking place in IT around mobility. On one side is the vanguard, whose laissez-faire attitude towards security creates the Wild West of mobility. On the other is the old guard whose “command and control” grip on all aspects of mobility negate many of its useful features. Many enterprises are finding themselves on two sides of the same coin. Both sides drive users to travel their own path in order to figure out what they need, leaving security in the lurch.
IBM found this out the hard way in their foray into “bring-your-own-devices” (BYOD). They quickly realised that they didn’t have any control over which apps and services their staff were using. In a common knee-jerk reaction, they compensated by severely limiting what staff could do on their mobile devices.
Going small isn’t the same as going mobile
In their rush to “go mobile”, many enterprises quickly convert their desktop or web app into a mobile app and think they are doing their users a great service. However, cramming an existing app into mobile isn’t mobile; it’s usually just bad process gone small.
Mobile is about how you work; it is not about the device you use. With the smaller screen, it is important to remember the users’ needs, so that you are providing relevant information, rather than cramming everything into one small screen. Remember, only 16% of users will give a bad app a second look. Getting the user experience right matters, even in the enterprise.
Choosing the wrong solution
The most egregious of all enterprise mobile fails always arise because of a breakdown in communication. They usually happen for several reasons, but the fallout is quite predictable. It begins with IT either misunderstanding what the business needs for a solution (or not even asking!) and building or buying the solution based on guesswork.
In response, businesses reject the solution provided by IT and have to build or buy a new solution that actually meets their needs.
While there are many pitfalls, they shouldn’t discourage you from embracing mobility. It offers the opportunity for organisations to look long and hard at how they have always done business and forces them to ask, why? Welcome mobility and you welcome a more efficient way of working.
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