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.
Lets put that straight – Enterprise Mobility isn’t just building a mobile app. So when you are budgeting for the roll out of your app, there are several things that you need to count on. Unless your company has a BYOD policy, there will be a large capital expense of devices to begin with. Then you also need to budget for the additional costs from the Telcos on your data usage. While budgeting for the application development, don’t just include the mobile application platform and customisation costs, but also detail your roll out plan and incidental costs associated with it. Like every other application that you deploy in your enterprise, mobile too has a learning and maturity curve. Do count for iterative development costs. Check out any dependencies on your backend IT infrastructure for the additional costs of licensing if any. Many mobile initiatives fail for the lack of ongoing budget allocation for the project.
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.
Another classic example is where you host the mobile infrastructure in the cloud and would want to enable a backward integration with your ERP/CRM or IT apps which is hosted in an on-premise mode behind your corporate firewalls. Having a secure connection to the cloud infrastructure would warrant a sound design and architecture. Issues like load balancing are often ignored and during roll outs these pose major challenges.
Security – Under secured or Hyper 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.
Further with the BYOD, employees are bringing in both their personal devices and apps into the corporate network. Sensitising corporate data, access to corporate apps continue to be a larger challenge. However many companies have been trying to focus heavily on setting up secure channels for data flow across mobile clients and backend infrastructure. The flip side though is there isn’t much focus on creating a secure mobile app itself.
Going Mobile doesn’t mean just shrinking it
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 Platform
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.
Companies need to focus and evolve a scalable and ROI driven mobile strategy that’s aligned to business needs to create an impact through adoption of this technology.