Mobile applications: 5 steps to incorporate mobility in your organization
Given the productivity gains offered by mobile applications, it’s no surprise both small startups and larger enterprises are looking to invest in mobility to gain a competitive edge. According to a 2016 report by Wrike, mobile devices increase productivity for 87 percent of workers, with 60 percent of respondents saying they saved at least one or two hours a day and 13 percent saying they saved five or more hours a day.
For startups and other organizations beginning their journey toward mobility, here is a five-step approach that will help get any program off the ground:
1. Develop a mobile strategy
Before you begin building out your mobility systems, it’s important to know what you want to accomplish. As part of developing a mobile strategy, businesses should ask questions such as the following:
- In which areas of the business can mobility solutions improve productivity?
- Which applications do you need, and what are the use cases?
- What security and mobile device management software do you need to protect company data while increasing user productivity?
- Who will manage your mobile program, including devices and applications?
2. Develop a comprehensive mobile architecture
Without a comprehensive mobile framework, the proliferation of devices in a BYOD environment can make it challenging to support mobility, leading to less productivity instead of more. Enterprises will be well positioned for success by creating an end-to-end mobile architecture that includes a unified network infrastructure able to support a secure, virtual workspace across wired, wireless and cellular networks.
3. Secure your data and your infrastructure
Mobile security should be top of mind when it comes to implementing a mobility structure in your organization. The use of a VPN helps secure mobile data, especially when employees are using mobile applications on unsecured wireless networks. In addition, an enterprise mobility management or mobile device management solution can help your organization better manage corporate applications and protect data.
Many of these solutions allow for the partitioning of personal data from corporate data to protect end users’ privacy while still allowing the business to maintain rigid control of its own information. Remote wiping is also an important feature since it allows organizations to wipe data from lost or stolen devices.
4. Develop an application strategy
From both a productivity and security perspective, it’s important to develop mobile application policies. As you’re crafting your policy, keep in mind the following questions:
- Does it make sense to blacklist or whitelist certain apps?
- How will you ensure applications are from a secure source?
- How will you detect and prohibit the use of noncompliant apps?
- Is there value in developing your own enterprise apps?
Answers to these questions will depend on your company’s unique situation and objectives. However, it is important to make sure that whatever policies you put in place, you balance user productivity with security concerns.
5. Improve the user experience
The productivity gains of mobile devices can be quickly lost when the user experience is less than optimal. Several studies have shown that people are more productive when they are allowed to use their own devices. For example, an article from The VoIP Report notes that BMC Software found BYOD users were working an additional two hours a day and sending an average of 20 more emails a day. Beyond embracing BYOD, organizations can also enhance the user experience by taking a holistic approach to mobility and ensuring the processes and policies are in place to allow easy and secure mobile access.
The potential business value of a strong mobile presence in any organization is significant. Successful organizations will not only embrace the mobile enterprise, but actively look for ways to use mobility to further improve organizational productivity and processes.