Emerging digital technologies like Mobility, Cloud Computing, Social Media, Big Data, AI (called as Digital Five Forces) has brought a paradigm shift in the way people and organizations work, big or small across different industries. And out of all these recent technologies, mobility is considered as the face of the enterprise to their clients as well as to their own employees. The ubiquity of mobile devices with continuously evolving technology and cloud services have changed the business models. The use of mobile devices has increased exponentially on the work front and more and more businesses & professionals are using smartphones and tablets for official purpose. It is also because, these devices are smaller in size, light in weight and provides the same features and utilities as of desktops. Even, work in an enterprise is no longer limited to any physical boundary of the premise, employees work at various remote locations and/or employees are given the flexibility to work outside the organization from anyplace. Organizations are spread across geographies, offices and employees are located all over the world. Mobility has changed the business processes as different types of work, drift people and locations best suited for them. Using mobile devices for work gives information at fingertips and unnecessary lapse in streamlining work is also eliminated. Enterprise needs to merge various communication channels and different devices in their corporate network. Even, users select devices, install their apps, and work when and where they please Hence, the need for adopting enterprise mobility solutions has become critical from the past few years.
However, along with the flexibility comes the responsibility. Mobile devices provided to the employees by the companies have to be monitored and controlled properly otherwise it affects the employees’ productivity and eventually business revenues. Again, the biggest challenge which the organizations face is that business data is transferred across the wide range of mobile devices and applications which may not be at enterprise standards. Enterprises need to support mobility as well as keep data safe and secure. This demands new skills, technology and methods of managing data and devices.
Thus, with rising enterprise mobility, it is in the best interest for the organization to have a well-defined enterprise mobility strategy. For every better opportunity, there are risks also involved, no doubt that mobility has led to higher business efficiency, productivity, flexibility, innovation, and agility but it has even posted some critical risks. To leverage enterprise mobility to the best level, the associated risks must be identified and mitigated.
Let’s us try to understand the probable key risk areas –
1. Device Risks
2. Network Risks
3. Apps & Data Risks
Under these categories, there are following subcategories –
There are a variety of mobile devices used by the employees in the organizations which are of different make and operating systems. Over and above they may or may not be provided by the companies. Hence, all these different mobile devices and operating systems make the mobility environment highly heterogeneous which poses a risk if not managed and secured properly.
Mobile devices are small, handy and easily portable which makes them susceptible to be stolen, lost or misplaced. When these devices, have corporate apps, data and content on it, no organization can afford such incidences.
Smartphone technology is rapidly changing every day, sometime before you make up your mind to buy a new smartphone, a new version is already launched. Same happens in the organizations, companies cannot replace the mobile devices as quickly it changes. Hence, they do not get updated with the latest security updates and as a result, they become vulnerable to the new threat which is introduced at the same pace with which the technology is making positive advancement. Thus, there are risks for such old devices to get compromised.
Remote employees or even the employees in the office may access Wi-Fi hotspot which is unsecured. When any mobile device access internet through unsecured network there are chances of the devices getting hacked which results in the data loss. This is a critical risk area which is exploited by the cyber attackers, and it is estimated the 90% of the communication happens over Wi-Fi and mostly all the public Wi-Fi hotspots do not provide any security.
When there are no restrictions on the usage of mobile devices (personal or company-owned) by the employees, there is always a high probability that they will download apps which are malicious and risky. As employees may download gaming apps, video apps, social media apps which are not relevant for the business purpose. These apps also pose the risk of data theft and loss and even can harm the OS of the mobile devices.
As the technology is advancing, mobility threat and risks are of highest concern to the organization today. None of the enterprises can afford to risk their sensitive and critical data, but the fact is, they can mitigate by reducing the effect with comprehensive enterprise mobility management solutions which ensures protection of the devices and the data and restrict the usage by the employees without compromising the flexibility and other key benefits offered by enterprise mobility.
Thus, for proper management of the mobile devices used by the employees in and out of the enterprises, there are UEM(Unified Endpoint Management) solution, EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) solutions and (Mobile Device Management) solutions. There are many popular players in the market offering numerous features, but implementing the right solution in companies is very important…
Effective Mobile Device Management gives the organization a secured control over data, device & applications along with the flexibility to the employees using those devices. These devices are the mobile devices provided by the company – termed as COSU. And, Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a software application used by IT division of the organization to monitor, manage, control & secure all these mobile devices used for work. MDM solutions cater differently to different devices of different make and operating system.
As the mobile technology advanced and smartphones got smarter, employees started owning devices which were, in fact, more advanced giving better user experience than the device provided by the organization. This drove to a change in the policy adopted by the companies, they adopted to BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policy. In BYOD policy, employees can use their own device for the work purpose and companies now were compelled to apply data security and application control on them. Thus, limitations of MDM got apparent when employees own the device but use it for work purpose.
Thus, as the mobility paced ahead, it also transformed the way we worked and lived, technology began to get complex and platforms complicated. As a result, MDM solutions transformed into Enterprise Mobility Management(EMM) Solution which included features and security encompassing both companies owned as well as employees’ personal devices.
Enterprise Mobility Management is a comprehensive solution to secure and manage the smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices which are brought into the enterprise environment by the employees. Again, with the exponential increase in the mobile apps, it generated innovative ways to collaborate and access enterprise resources irrespective of time and place. Thus, now the focus was not only to control and supervise the devices but also maximizing the productivity of the office-based and remote workforce with stringent security. EMM solution extended the IT capabilities at the application and information level, generally deployed with MDM (Mobile Device Management), MAM (Mobile Application Management), MCM (Mobile Content Management), Location tracking and enhanced Security Management.
Enterprise mobility solutions are widely used in banking, financial and insurance (BFSI), manufacturing, retail, transportations & logistics, healthcare and IT. According to Transparency Market Research, between 2015 and 2022, applications of enterprise mobility across the BFSI industry will increase at CAGR of 25.7%. IT and Telecommunication industries are also expected to be influential industries for enterprise mobility market and expected to contribute nearly US$151.12bn by 2022. Other service industries like hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and automation are also expected to lead to excellent revenues in the given period.
To sum for a successful enterprise mobility, organizations need to have a strong & comprehensive enterprise mobility management solution which manages, controls and secures all the mobile devices and assures the seamless functioning of the mobility solutions in the organization. MobiLock Pro insures all your business risks that are associated with your company-owned devices, apps and data. It understands the business problems which are faced while implementing mobility across organizations and hence it precisely offers those features which address the pain points and enables you to confidently adapt to advancing mobile technologies and leverage the best out of it.
Nema Buch is a Research & Marketing professional, also writes for MobiLock Pro on Enterprise Mobility trends, SaaS, and different Industry Verticals.