Enterprise Mobility in 2014: Which Trends Will Have the Biggest Impact? THE Tech Scoop April 7, 2014 Tech It’s no secret that enterprises have already been transformed by mobility. Currently, one of the leading focuses of this form of mobility is enabling employees to do great work even when they’re away from their desks. Another key focus is on utilising customer channel features like presence and location to improve revenue. Although the emphasis on mobility has already had a significant impact over the last one to two decades, it still has a lot of room for growth within this sector. For example, there are undoubtedly certain older business models that will be pushed out in favour of newer ones that truly embrace mobility. But in order for businesses to fully reap the benefits that mobility has to offer, they need to understand the right strategy to harness it. A common issue is that in a rush to get on the mobility bandwagon, businesses make crucial mistakes that actually hold them back. Vague requirements and unrealistic expectations are just two examples of the types of issues that can have a negative impact. In order to fully embrace and utilise enterprise mobility, which is expected to experience significant growth all the way through 2020, here are the most important trends for businesses to understand: Assessing Risk and Identifying Suitable Security Measures Applications accessed by mobile users can generate sensitive data. This data can be stored on the device itself, as well as in a cloud environment. Anti-malware, device wipe, encryption and authentication are a few examples of existing security options that work on multiple platforms. The challenge is creating an experience that’s uniformly secure across different devices and operating systems. Businesses also have to assess the security capabilities of their cloud solutions. Balancing Usability with Identity & Access Management (IAM) While enterprises need to be able to properly authenticate users prior to granting them access to sensitive data and resources, they have to take into account how this affects usability on different devices. For example, remembering and entering a long password on a small screen can be a significant hurdle. That’s why many organisations are exploring options like single sign-on and adaptive access control. With adaptive access control, the main challenge is finding ways to use signals like location without creating any privacy issues. Properly Managing Mobile App Development If you browse through the iOS App Store, you’ll see that the majority of the most popular apps have very attractive designs. And if you download any of those apps, you’ll also find that they’re generally quite easy to use. While great UX design is a core part of B2C apps, a lot of B2E apps are significantly behind the curve. In order for enterprises to ensure that their employees are using official apps and not potentially compromising security by opting for other apps with similar functionality but better design, it’s crucial for user experience to become a priority within B2E app development. Collaborating with Different People and Devices Enterprise mobility isn’t a concept that’s solely tied to cellphones and tablets. Instead, it also covers physical devices like scanners. For businesses who want to get the most efficiency out of using these devices, they need to have the right strategies and technologies for communicating between the devices, as well as other people within the business. Managing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Usage It wasn’t that long ago when most employees expected to only use official devices that were given by their employers. However, because mobile usage has become such a major part of people’s daily lives, there are now lots of employees who want to use the devices they know the best. That’s why 53% of employees bring their own devices to work and use them as part of their job. As a result, enterprises can no longer ignore this trend, and must instead find ways to deal with the security and other challenges it presents. Robust Infrastructure This ties into several of the trends we covered. For enterprises who want to maximise their employees’ productivity, they need to provide secure wireless networks and other vital infrastructure components that deliver data as quickly as it’s requested. While there’s not necessarily an easy answer to the issues raised by the trends we covered, the businesses that will experience the most success are those that can implement and execute strategies that acknowledge the multifaceted nature of enterprise mobility. Ernest Healy is a technology blogger. Although he started out with consumer electronics, enterprise technology has been his primary focus for the last six years.