At this week's BlackBerry 10 launch in New York City, it was clear that many IT directors and their bosses still harbor illusions that the twin trends of a preference for mobile computing platforms and bringing your own device (BYOD) to work are about to vanish. If you too share in their confusion, please go and do a little research before pressing on with this blog.
It’s clear, the future is mobile, and as we saw in the first installment of this , the rewards for IT service management teams who embrace mobile computing as part of their operations are rich indeed. But what about the rest of the organization? What about supporting an increasingly mobile workforce and their equipment?
Part 2: Managing the Mobile Workforce
Balancing flexibility and control
Once you’ve acknowledged and accepted that employees (and businesses more generally) love the additional flexibility that mobility gives them, you need to think carefully about an appropriate level of control. Remember, these are still critical business assets, so some control is necessary to protect important information and to maximize the stability and utility of each device.
Let’s look at some useful capabilities that allow employees to retain all the benefits of anytime, anywhere access to critical systems but still keep you in control.
You can’t manage what you can’t see right? So allowing users to register their devices with your mobile management service is a critical first step. Luckily, the benefits to your employees of making this enrollment are pretty easy to sell.
Secure access to their critical working documents and sources of information on the move is usually very popular, as is the ability to install custom apps that allow them to access critical corporate systems. In addition, once they’ve registered their device, you can offer them great service and support from IT, no matter where the employee has chosen to work.
In turn, IT gets to know a great deal more about the device and its owner, which makes supporting and taking care of the employee and their device a lot easier.
Controlling corporate applications
Once registered, you can give your mobile employees access to a corporate app store. This is great way to provide a range of useful tools to improve employee productivity away from the office. It also gives the employee a very modern and familiar experience of working with IT.
Most importantly, you retain control over the set of applications and their associated configurations on each registered device. Bear in mind that these apps are access points into important business information systems, so the additional control gained through managing these applications is well worth the investment.
Providing secure content
One of the most common requests from mobile workers is to have access to their critical documents and other project materials when they’re on the road or working from a remote location (without a laptop and VPN connection).
In BMC’s mobility solution, for example, we’ve provided a so-called content locker, where you get a personalized and secure mobile repository. Think SharePoint in the cloud. This removes the need for employees to use commercially available storage services; offering a secure alternative that is under the full control of IT is a very compelling proposition indeed.
Manage Connectivity, Security and Health
Once a mobile device is under management, you can detect issues in network connectivity and help employees take steps to correct the issue. You can enforce stronger access security, making the device much less of a risk if lost or stolen.
You can also keep tabs on the general health and performance of the machine and stay one step ahead of any potential impact to employee productivity.
For IT operations and service management teams, this means a degree of visibility and control only previously afforded to static devices. For the business, this clearly translates to a more secure and productive technology resource.
Coming soon to a user near you…
Imagine taking these capabilities further. Imagine being able to provide an even more tailored IT experience, based on the location and context of each employee. Imagine automatically provisioning access to the key systems and facilities for their current location and specific role? Take some time to explore the coming IT service revolution that is MyIT.
Enterprise Mobility Blog Archive