IDC Reports: Enterprise Mobility Trends

Enterprise mobility is rolling across the globe like an unstoppable wave. Instead of worrying about the risks associated with BYOD and mobility solutions, IT teams and heads can take up the challenge as an opportunity to expand outreach, enhance productivity and grasp new market opportunities. That's not just our perspective but also that of the global provider of market intelligence, IDC. According to IDC, the major factors influencing the uptake of enterprise mobility solutions are productivity gains and job satisfaction. An inhibitor to their adoption, though not a major one, is the infrastructure costs associated with having to support the mobility solutions. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is another challenge for IT teams but it can be managed with appropriate policies and security measures in place. Mobility is a disruptive technology Nobody can disagree to that. Just like internet news has replaced traditional newspapers and radio to a large degree, mobile technology is disrupting conventional communication and service platforms. Moreover, the demand for mobility has spread like a virus with new gen workers demanding more and more capabilities on their handheld devices, flexibility at the workplace, constant connectivity, and anytime anywhere access to information and services. In the enterprise, "the debate is no longer around whether to enable a mobile workforce. It's more about deciding which devices to support, who gets access to what, and how to develop the infrastructure that is needed to support these devices," said Venu Reddy, Research Director, IDC India at the Computerworld IT Roadmap event held across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. CTO concerns * Some CTOs and IT teams are resisting the BYOD trend but it will ultimately overtake them. Their concerns are understandable as personal mobile devices accessing business data is a risky proposition. However, by taking the right steps, enterprises can mitigate security risks and drive business benefits that assuredly outweigh the perils of BYOD by a large margin. Another concern for IT teams is provisioning for multiple mobile platforms and devices. With corporate commissioned devices, IT teams have some control on the mobile OS, smartphones or tablets to be managed. However, with BYOD, employees are free to bring in any handheld device into the office – BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Nokia, Sony or Android smartphones and tablets. It's a huge challenge for IT security. *Managing the risks of enterprise mobility Effective implementation of a mobile strategy starts from the top. Top level management need to understand the risks and productivity gains of embracing BYOD, and the necessity of devising corporate policies to ensure the safety of business data. Apart from implementing Mobile Device Management (MDM solutions) that support Mobile Enterprise Management (MEM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM), enterprises also need to look at solutions that incorporate security standards such as SSL, encrypted storage and transmission, and user access control. As IDC correctly states, BYOD can turn risky in organizations where security is an afterthought rather than a parallel consideration throughout a project. Security has to be designed into an application and the supporting infrastructure from the time of conception. Back in December 2011, IDC predicted 2012 would be the year of mobile, cloud, Big Data analytics, and a redefinition of industries. It hasn't been wrong and the trend is sure to continue in 2013 and beyond.