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Essential Components Governing an Enterprise Mobility Strategy

By CIOReview | Monday, August 8, 2016

Corporate mobility policy shares a broader perspective and scope for companies and doesn’t limit itself to mere deployment and support of mobile devices. A successful mobility policy usually builds on a common platform where the integration and management of mobile devices and corporate assets stored on those devices is made possible. It’s essentially an amalgamation of the tools that go into designing and distribution of mobile applications, and most importantly the mobile services which bolsters up revenue for the enterprises by making the business processes more efficient.

The problem enterprises face while transitioning to mobile device programs is that most of them are obscure about successfully planning and executing a mobility policy. Mobility reaches beyond the scope of smartphones and tablets, making it essential for enterprises to comprehend the very fundamentals of a mobile device policy. Companies usually struggle with identifying the point of initiation when incorporating a full-scale corporate mobility policy. Because of the persistent growth in the mobile space, and the constant research that is being undertaken by the IT community, organizations now have several frameworks to leverage for executing an efficient corporate mobility policy. An enterprise today expects the mobility policy to lay out comprehensive security and support regulations for employees, setting a definite benchmark for everyone. A comprehensive mobility strategy lays a set of guidelines on mobile device utilization in order to maintain security and monitor usage. Let’s highlight the most crucial elements of any comprehensive enterprise mobility policy which will help organizations to undergo this transformation.

Forming a Mobility Team

Due to increased focus on enterprise mobility, most of the enterprises today spend their entire time, effort, and money to prepare for and supervise the transition to a mobile workforce. But what is essentially needed, and what most of these companies fail to address is formation of an effective mobility team, proficient enough to manage the transformation. Companies need to devote enough skilled human capital towards the creation and enforcement of a corporate mobility policy and overall enterprise mobile strategy. Representatives from the human resources, legal, sourcing/procurement, and operations domains usually form core part of such groups, besides the necessary participation of company executives and IT leadership.

Standardization of Device

An enterprise mobility policy isn’t merely limited to providing guidance for hardware and mobile operating systems. The policy needs to be authored in a manner so as to include liability details in case there’s misuse of devices, resulting in subsequent loss. The introduction of enterprise trends such as bring your own device (BYOD) and corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) have brought clear demarcations in enterprise mobile strategy, and the same needs to be implemented in the mobility policy. Telecommunications costs, data plan costs, mobility management service fees, and employee reimbursements for using personal devices are few other financial factors included under an efficient policy.

Need to Specify Authorized Users

For an enterprise to function smoothly and in an organized manner, it’s not necessary everyone should be granted complete or even partial access to mobile capabilities. Authorizing every other personnel on every facet of the mobility policy is not the most viable approach in the long run. Organizations must draft a detailed mobile access plan to determine which user should have access to what, when, and where. The mobility policy must essentially include a comprehensive list of users who access the enterprise networks and details regarding networks and systems securely exposed.

Data Classification

Mobile access to company data is essential in bolstering productivity, and employees engaging in a BYOD policy expect the same unrestricted corporate data access on their personal devices, as they are provided on a company-owned machine. But, not every network drive or Share Point team site is secure for global access. The IT sector has often weighed the benefits of comprehensive mobile access, against the incorporation of BYOD policies. This, in turn, has helped organizations to develop solutions addressing the BYOD policy, those which guarantee accessibility and security for users. On the same lines, enterprises today are striving to integrate information architecture strategy with their mobility policy. This strategy will have to obtain details regarding the content repositories which could be allowed and who could be granted access.

Granting Access

Most of the enterprises today find the mobile products only as reliable as the access controls an Active Directory would provide, when it comes to managing employee access and privileges. Consequently, IT departments find it crucial to maintain the Active Directory and keep other controls up to date with evolving mobile best practices. The enterprise mobility strategy has pushed companies to seriously comprehend the significance of setting access controls and incorporate the same.



Fixing Standards for Acceptable Use

The wall set for endpoint security and data loss prevention is often disturbed due to wide scale utilization of mobile devices. Employees often fail to figure out that what’s acceptable on their office PC, might not hold the same on a mobile device.  In most prevalent cases, organizations ensure that there is a clear demarcation between the standards set for "appropriate use" of a mobile device, and the standards fixed for on-premise PCs. An effective mobility policy would avoid vague guidelines which tend to mislead employees, or leave enterprises exposed with the liability for data security breaches

Integrating MDM for Addressing Mobile Security

The corporate mobility policy must outline the significance of integrating a mobile device management (MDM) service. The success of a mobile strategy and the protection of company data is tied up directly to the MDM service employed, and consequently the choice of an MDM product affects enterprise security and IT management of mobile devices, network access and data. In such a scenario it is advisable for companies to take utmost time to research on the MDM offering and also check if the vendor’s a proven one in the market.