The big-picture view of your mobility operations: Seeing the forest for the trees

By Jonathan Crowl

In much the same way leaves change color in the fall, so, too, do the mobile devices in the hands of employees. Between smartphones and tablets that feature an ever-changing lineup of devices, operating systems, device ownership and apps, it’s tempting to think of every single day as a new season in the life cycle of enterprise mobility operations.

Individual devices are important on their own, enabling employees to perform better in their jobs every day. These individual benefits are important to the larger picture, just as a single autumn leaf is part of an image more stunning than the sum of its parts. Where enterprise mobility is concerned, management is most successful when it takes a similarly big-picture approach to developing policies and strategies.

When enterprises focus too much on individual risks and threats, mobility issues can arise. Yes, the individual leaves within your forest all have an important role to play. However, it’s not a sustainable practice to micromanage at the individual level. Instead, the enterprise must consider mobility from a top-level view that takes the entire forest into account.

Making sense of the growth in enterprise mobility

One reason it’s important to step back and view the scenery from a distance is because the limits of enterprise mobility continue to expand. As Computerworld notes, today’s enterprise mobility management (EMM) strategy has grown far beyond its earlier role in managing devices and mobile applications. It now covers a range of mobility enablement across diverse devices, manages account permissions for sensitive data access and provides security support that helps keep the entire network safe, among other functions.

The role of EMM continues to gain prominence as BYOD practices become more common among global workers. According to MarketsandMarkets, North American BYOD adoption rates are expected to hit 50 percent by the end of 2017. The benefits of BYOD policies include reduced telecommunications expenses, greater employee job satisfaction and improved flexibility that can boost productivity.

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However, to maintain these advantages in a growing mobility environment that’s becoming more complex as new devices and device owners are added, efficient management is essential.

Who’s responsible for preventing forest fires?

Some enterprises put the onus of security on employees — at their own risk. In reality, protecting an enterprise mobile environment is a multifaceted process. It begins with your IT department committing to supporting enterprise mobility and implementing the policies and solutions necessary for effective mobility management. Any organization can benefit from the installation of an EMM solution, which provides centralized services to manage devices, monitor data usage, prevent security breaches and facilitate improved employee productivity.


Meanwhile, mobility policies can establish the ground rules for using these devices, including where, when and how employees use mobile devices and solutions outside of the workplace. These policies can establish a framework for managing hundreds or even thousands of employees, each of whom might own multiple devices and work from a number of different locations, including the office, at home, on job sites and other remote destinations.

A well-defined mobility operations policy will support efforts to improve employee practices through regular training workshops, as well as periodic updates on new security threats and mobility considerations. From there, it’s up to employees to uphold their ends of the bargain and comply with company practices regarding enterprise mobility.

Some leaves might fall. No enterprise mobility strategy is immune to the risks of human error. However, by investing in a strong EMM solution and providing the necessary services to support its operation, companies will be doing all they can to protect the trees and keep the forest safe.