How to handle the transition to managed mobility services

By Jonathan Hassell

Managed mobility services (MMS) may affect IT personnel more than the average worker, but their influences will be felt through an enterprise organization, changing even the day-to-day activities of individual workers.

As mobile networks grow more complex and critical to a company’s success, businesses are making investments into platform solutions that can help manage these new challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities. According to Research and Markets, the market for MMS solutions will hit $65 billion by 2025.

That’s a massive amount of money, even by enterprise standards. Yet research shows this spending is likely to be rewarded. A conservative estimate from Blue Hill Research suggests MMS solutions are capable of delivering a three-year ROI of 184 percent. This strong return is based on an estimated 20 percent savings on the costs of a managed environment, as well as a 50 percent savings in IT overhead.

The financial incentive for enterprise organizations is obvious. However, to successfully implement MMS within an organization, companies should follow a few key guidelines to make sure the technology is meeting their business needs and to enable employees to make better use of this new enterprise solution.

Download Gartner report on managed mobility services

Establishing your goals for managed mobility services

There are other benefits — besides the financial ones — to consider as well. Executive leaders should understand exactly which changes they expect to see from the introduction of an MMS.

For example, IT benefits in several ways from the adoption of an MMS, especially when it comes to managing and securing content and data. As Blue Hill Research notes, an MMS can support enterprise app management, making the task of managing an ever more complex mobile environment easier for IT. Though a company’s financial savings reflect this, it also frees up additional IT resources for development and other enterprise projects.

In addition, an MMS strategy can create new opportunities for your workforce, freeing some employees to work remotely for the first time, while enhancing the productivity of other workers who already spend some or all of their time outside the office. This mobility service can manage logistical issues such as individual device management, containerization and device repair, providing a general assessment of a mobile business environment in terms of its productivity and security.

Choosing your package of services

Not all MMS platforms are the same, and even a single provider can customize the services and features of its MMS to better serve your business needs. Once you’ve identified your goals, executive leaders can review service options to decide what the company’s MMS needs to include to meet these goals.

Some of your mobility needs will be determined by whether your network is built through BYOD, COPE or other device management policies. This will also affect certain features of your mobile security. Services affecting containerization and remote data security will be tailored to your company’s specific needs.

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Other features of an MMS might depend on the unique challenges and circumstances your company faces due to its industry or other factors, as well as existing enterprise mobile policies you would like to be enforced through the MMS. Your MMS vendor will work with your executive team to make sure the specific makeup of services will support your business objectives. If you find a vendor is unable to satisfy some of those needs, it might be time to consider other alternatives to see whether their solutions would be a better fit.

Preparing employees to handle the change

A comprehensive service platform can manage mobility, but your employees themselves will be leveraging the technology. This means hundreds or even thousands of workers play a small part in the performance of your mobile network, which affects the ROI of your MMS.

To optimize the success of the platform’s rollout, you can’t leave employees in the dark. Once you’ve selected a solution and its services, executive leaders must work with the vendor to prepare employees for the transition. This could be a significant change for some workers, especially if the MMS is a major upgrade over past attempts at managed mobility.

Remote workers will have to understand the limitations and benefits of an MMS and how their use of technology should change accordingly. IT will need to learn how to provide maintenance and tech support for the entire environment, including remote support for workers in the field. HR will have to understand how various corporate policies can and should be enforced through an MMS. Executive leaders will need to manage both their transitioning workers and their expectations in the first few years of adopting this technology.

To encourage a smooth transition, work with your vendor to develop and/or distribute informational resources, including virtual training and other educational materials. You might want to develop department-specific training methods that educate your management and executive-level workers on the implications and proper uses of the new technology, then have those leaders train their respective departments. If you’re unsure of your organization’s ability to manage this training process, consider bringing in consultants to fill the gaps in education and training. While this is an added expense, it’s worth the investment if it boosts your ROI and facilitates faster adoption of the MMS.

Ultimately, your MMS will only be as good as your employees’ ability to work within this new mobility context. As you seek out a new solution for managed mobility, don’t overlook the task of establishing guidelines to make the transition a successful and profitable one for the enterprise.

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

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