The explosion in smart mobile devices has started to fundamentally change the way in which business works. The ability to connect in real-time to enterprise systems while on the move is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a key function in our 21st century professional lives.
Therefore, an effective enterprise mobility platform to keep us connected is not just desirable, but essential in increasing employee productivity. According to an IDC report, by 2015 mobile workers will represent 37 percent of the global workforce – that’s about 1.3 billion workers.
For too long, the majority of companies have been held hostage by the realities of rolling out enterprise apps onto a multitude of devices – in particular, reliance on third party providers to develop and manage mobile apps. I believe that is about to change and companies must own their mobile initiatives.
In order to be competitive, a company must have the ability to create and modify custom apps easily, cost effectively and securely. This goal can be achieved with affordable and secure options so corporate users can develop, deploy and manage apps themselves in today’s disparate mobile ecosystem.
Mobile app management (MAM) platforms are ushering in a move from old-fashioned mobile device management (MDM) approaches to agile and effective app development and management. MAM solutions offer app discovery, provisioning, update notifications, entitlement, revocation, and other app-centric features as well as methods for secure app management.
Such mobility platforms rely on corporate policies and core systems in order to work effectively. Users may have access to apps based on their department, role, organization level, location, device type, tenure, and more.
The best enterprise mobility solutions are able to draw this data from corporate directories and provide and restrict access to apps based on this centralized source of data. When not integrated, app deployment quickly becomes chaotic and out of date. Likewise, the ability to instantaneously deploy x-platform app changes reduces the need for production software updates and is a great advantage.
A major factor forcing businesses to reconsider their enterprise mobility strategy is the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) trend. In fact, it’s ‘normal’ for employees to want to use their personal mobile device for work-related activities.
According to an Aberdeen Group August 2012 report, the percentage of organisations permitting employee to use personal mobile devices for business purposes grew from 10 percent in 2008 to more than 80 percent in 2012, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 70 percent.
This global phenomenon has made security a top concern for enterprise mobility, along with increased IT support cost and the need to find a way to ‘design once and run anywhere’.
In reality, critical information is most at risk when distributed via email or websites as they can be forwarded or printed. It is actually safer to share data via enterprise mobile apps because they are secured at the app level.
Apps give employees secure access to data and prevent users from sharing the information with others, while enforcing user authentication and authorization levels. App-level security also enables businesses to remotely wipe data if a device is lost or stolen, while leaving personal information intact.
In addition, efficient means of engagement and interaction are by far the most significant benefits of BYOD. For years, employees would get intrusive phone calls from their managers or customers – during meetings or personal time. The calls were replaced by e-mail and text messages.
Today, companies can build mobile apps with specific functions, capabilities and alerts allowing employees to complete critical tasks without needing to be interrupted during meetings or outside of office hours. They can be productive on their own schedule.
In fact, Verivo Software’s powerful and unique mobility platform is an example of a technology that enables custom enterprise apps to be built five times faster, deployed and updated simultaneously across multiple devices in a matter of seconds. The platform has integrated security functions and meets all stringent IT requirements, including the ability to connect to numerous back-end systems. The software has recently been further enhanced with integrated HTML5 functionality.
A strong enterprise mobility strategy is today’s business imperative and key to driving competitive edge. And a smart BYOD policy is a great way to get more people to use mobile business apps, leveraging devices they are already familiar with.
However, to execute well, a company must rely on an enterprise mobility platform that allows them to be in control of their strategy while giving users the flexibility and functionality needed to design, deploy and manage custom apps.
Steve Levy is the chief executive officer of Verivo Software, innovators in enterprise mobility software. www.verivo.com