The Challenges for Enterprise Mobility

KUALA LUMPUR, 3 May 2015 (Sun): Just 10 years ago, mobility meant merely checking your email on a Blackberry device away from your desktop PC. The work environment and device landscape has since changed.

According to research carried out by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), on behalf of Citrix, 87 per cent of organizations consider mobile computing to be extremely important to their business. In addition, nearly 32 per cent of IT professionals believe that mobile devices have become crucial for their organization’s business processes and productivity.

Furthermore, analysts forecasted the global Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) market to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 25.32% from 2014 to 2019 with the increase in the number of mobile platforms being a major growth driver.

Mobility today is seen as a ubiquitous work style that transcends legacy IT by delivering applications (apps), virtual desktops, files, and services seamlessly to any user, on any device, over any network. However, the reality is that most organizations are not there yet.

Mark Micallef, Area Vice President of Citrix ASEAN, shares the top five challenges in enterprise mobility that organizations should look to address.

1. The device explosion

Today, there are so many business devices, both, in terms of diversity and number. It is not uncommon to find one person having two or more devices at any one time. Be it BYOD, choose-your-own-device (CYOD), company-owned, personally enabled (COPE), or the non-sanctioned use of personal technology, organizations need to deal with device explosion and the issues that come along with it.

The ever-increasing number of devices in the market today has made the maintenance of security across a heterogeneous mix of devices with varying ownership a challenge, as sensitive corporate data resides on the same device as personal data. In addition, there is also the concern of consistently providing secure access to corporate networks on any device, without raising roadblocks and inconveniences which could affect the productivity of employees and business continuity.

2. The app migration

The rise of new-world applications, such as web, mobile and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), has been a great benefit to organizations, helping to empower people in more ways, on more devices, in more places. However, organizations are still very much invested in, for example, traditional Windows applications. While it is easy to dismiss these old-world apps as “legacy systems” bound for obsolescence, the fact is that they still have a critical role to play.

The goal is to have old-world apps appearing side-by-side as new-world apps on the same devices, with the same great experience. To do this, organizations need to start extending the value of these traditional applications and bridging them into the new era by mobilizing the older applications to co-exist with newer apps.

3. Security and accountability – for everything, everywhere

Everything was simple when it was locked-down and standardized but it was also a lot less productive. Now, with the more open, heterogeneous environment that has emerged over the last few years, a lot more can be done. However, this also means refactoring the approach to security and accountability across a portfolio of both legacy and modern apps, data and services.

In an environment where personal and corporate data resides on multiple devices for each user, there is now an even greater need to ensure data privacy, and to manage access control to both apps and data for the same user across multiple devices. In addition, organizations also need to ensure compliance with an ever-growing list of security and privacy-related standards, regulations and laws – which numbers more than 300 worldwide, encompassing more than 3,500 specific controls. All these measures need to be carried out in a manner that does not obstruct the productivity of employees, trying to get their work done.

4. A transformed workforce

As the workforce expands across generations and geographies, organizations need new ways to meet the expectations of employees. Gen X has already pushed the level of technological sophistication in the workplace far beyond their predecessors. In recent years, Gen Y workers have brought in new, preferred ways of working which include modern apps and a consumer-style, self-service IT experience. The ongoing search for the ultimate enterprise app store is an important part of this experience, where employees are able to self-provision the apps they need on any device they choose. At the same time, organizations need to be able to empower employees wherever they are working from.

5. Change as a constant

Organizations today remain in a state of flux, shifting work and resources fluidly across locations, business units, partners and service providers to meet the demands of a dynamic global market. IT needs to streamline move-add-change processes to become routine aspects of daily life and not exceptional disruptions.

‘Don’t own it if you can rent it” is the new mantra for IT infrastructure, as the cloud provides the elasticity and flexibility to transform the IT environment, ramp up outsourced talent, reshape the organization, integrate mergers and acquisitions, provide burst capacity, wind down initiatives – all in a matter of hours, not months – with ease and efficiency.

Given the forecasted market growth for BYOD globally, resulting from the increase in the number of mobile platforms, organizations, especially those with a very strong business need for BYOD, should equip themselves with a strong mobility strategy by addressing the potential challenges that may come along with the adoption of BYOD.

In addition, organizations need to focus on integrating proper IT controls to ensure a secure and compliant environment at all times, regardless how or where employees are working from and the types of apps and devices they are using.

Author: Terry KS

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