How to Device a Mobile Cloud Strategy

By CIOReview | Monday, August 8, 2016
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Enhancing workplace productivity is a high priority for every organization. Hence, creating an infrastructure that facilitates 'working on-the-go' will raise the bar on employee performance. But this does not require moving all the enterprise applications to the cloud. What is required is a detailed mobile cloud strategy to determine the user access to information and allocation of data on cloud and in-house facilities.

Enabling mobile cloud services will allow employees to access emails, applications, and other enterprise data from remote locations. Some companies also deploy real time geo-data and camera functions to provide more engaging user experiences.  However, often these enterprises overlook the ‘user support’ aspect, which is an imperative. Companies should consider giving the same help desk support to their employees as they provide to their internal customers for an enriched mobile cloud experience. Mobile cloud experience can be accelerated by taking into account the following aspects of enterprise communications and services.

Email hosting in the cloud space

Organizations may sometimes be indecisive on the deployment of cloud email services due to reasons such as multiple client hosting by the storage server. But on a comparative scale, the user-friendliness, flexibility and reduced overheads may outweigh its down side, which will lead to the adoption of mobile cloud. Assuming that vulnerability is more in cloud services, IT admins should ensure high security standards by using encrypted file transfers for sensitive messages and data.

Cloud email service is not fettered to a specific device and therefore can be used across a variety of device platforms. Enterprise email engages server-based applications, such as Microsoft Exchange, and allows email access through Microsoft Outlook for PCs or a mobile client for smartphones and tablets. Most of the cloud vendors provide archival storage for longer periods of time and it is generally offered free of cost. With appropriate policies and procedures in place, moving to the cloud will not be a wrong choice when endowed with benefit of uninterrupted communications even outside the workplace.

Secured file sharing with mobile cloud

To meet the mobility and the collaboration needs of employees, organizations should use file sharing and transfer services that also provide administrative controls over data. Sharepoint, SmartVault, Dropbox, Citirix Sharefile, and Box are some of the global platforms which are widely used across various organizations. A company’s approach in document storage and sharing is chiefly determined by the following factors:

  • Sensitive Personal Information contained in the documents
  • Integration to third party applications and
  • Whether the documents are hosted on cloud or on-premise

For physical storage models, a mobile VPN such as SharePlus would be preferable. An efficient mobile VPN provides uninterrupted service to users and can seamlessly switch across multiple public and private networks.

Even though the benefits associated with mobility are large, accessing enterprise information remotely on mobile devices may not be same as working on a desktop computer in office. However, with stringent rules and procedures that mandate use of security tokens and extra credentials, the whole idea of a smooth and uncomplicated mobile cloud experience can be hampered.

Integrated approach to mobility management

Mobile and cloud combined, opens up an entirely new method of enterprise operations. It provides a single platform for personal and corporate data and at the same time draws a line between the two, all with a unified policy. The user permissions to access information from any device and editing them are well regulated with tools for mobile device management (MDM) and Customer Relationship Management.

However this method of enhancing productivity may not be acceptable to each and every organization. Some companies may have policies that keep back from hosting corporate data on a third party storage facility. For such companies that require a 24x7 access to distributed teams, a hybrid cloud approach will prove to be of use. This model allows certain services to be handled from the cloud and the rest to be retained on-premise. With this, company can keep the legacy systems under control and deploy new applications in a public cloud environment.

Choosing a long time mobile cloud strategy is not a simple task. Organizations should identify the key components and the right tools for deployment to cloud. This can be achieved mostly by analyzing the unique needs of the company and by creating a method that secures the enterprise data and improves productivity. A secure communication network, on-device encryption and access control mechanisms will steer the enterprise cloud model to success.