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The rise of enterprise mobility management

Joseph Porter
06/05/16
What do you get when you cross a rapidly evolving mobile landscape with the growing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement? For businesses, this is no laughing matter. Organisations the world over are placing mobility centre stage, but such a rapid pace of change has made managing enterprise mobility a rather tall order for many of these businesses.

Productivity versus protection

For all its benefits, mobility has always presented a series of challenges. IT departments have long struggled to find the right balance between empowering users and maintaining security. While mobility offers the advantage of significant productivity gains, the more employees bringing smart devices into the office means a far greater gamble in terms of data protection and security. 

The situation is this: multiple users with multiple devices want to connect to multiple networks via multiple Internet connections. The result, unsurprisingly, is multiple security threats. The issue here is that mobile device management (MDM) can only go so far in addressing these ongoing challenges; more needs to be done to keep productivity high and data safe.

What is enterprise mobility management?

So what can businesses do? They can start by turning their attention towards the evolution of enterprise mobility management (EMM). 

A simple definition for EMM is that it is the business management of mobile devices, networks and computing. It is the successor to mobile device management (MDM) – a bigger, better version of what went before that can control entire IT estates. In other words, EMM is the Swiss Army knife of device management.

There are three defined components that combine to create a holistic EMM solution. Each one addresses a key area of mobility management and helps create a more tailored solution to meet the needs of both users and IT policies. These three elements are:
  • Mobile device management (MDM): Operating at device level, MDM sets restrictions (such as passwords and remote-wipe capabilities) on individual devices. Best for: companies using corporate-issue devices.
  • Mobile applications management (MAM): MAM enforces restrictions on corporate applications (such as application-level passwords, interoperability between apps and selective-wipe of data). Best for: companies with BYOD policy.
  • Mobile content management (MCM): MCM allows users to access and manage data stored in the cloud or on-premise connections to file shares. Best for: companies looking for DropBox style functionality.
Cost of running corporate devices

It costs approx £1,200 a year to run a corporate mobile device. This figure, according to a report published by mobile security firm Wandera, is 103% greater than the cost most companies would expect to pay. It also means that the total bill for UK businesses is a whopping £13.2 billion each year.

Why so high? A combination of carrier charges, unexpectedly high phone bills, hardware, security and the IT resource needed to operate these systems all contribute towards the final cost. EMM also brings with it an additional expense – the more advanced the platform, the higher the price. However, when faced with the rise in cyber crime and security breaches, this is a price that businesses are prepared to pay.

Future-proofing through EMM

When it comes to mobile management, many businesses opt for a solution that is good enough for now. But companies are realising they need to up their game and looking to the future of application, content, network, policy and service management.

Mobility has moved from a peripheral concern to a core IT service; EMM has a key role to play in ensuring companies are able to manage mobile and not vice versa. As a result, 2016 looks set to be the year that companies review their EMM strategy – or develop one if they haven’t already.

EMM and the employment landscape

The constantly evolving IT space means that the demand for highly specialist skills is at an all-time high. Cyber security is commanding more than its fair share of column inches and data protection is high on the list of priorities for businesses around the UK and beyond.

The constant flow of new technologies and threats means that companies are looking for IT candidates with the hottest of skills and the keenest of strategic vision. Businesses are investing a lot of time, money and effort into these new EMM solutions. Staying up-to-speed with these new technologies could just place your CV at the top of a recruiter’s pile.

EMM is on the rise - are you positioned to be part of its journey?

Read our related blog: 5 predictions for the Internet of Things in 2016
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