Quarantines and lockdowns during the COVID-19 forced organizations to devise ways to remain operational. Many turned to remote working. Prior to the pandemic, remote working was unpopular due to concerns by organizations that their workforce would be easily distracted at home. However, the past few years of COVID-19 movement restrictions have seen many of them embrace it.
Transition to remote working is expected to grow in the coming years because of the realized benefits associated with it. This working arrangement allows organizations to reduce their operational costs and offers their employees a better work-life balance.
However, transitioning to remote working has its challenges. Primary among them is establishing effective communication between employees and the organization management. There are also many security concerns associated with personal devices. Still, with the right processes and technological solutions, remote working can be easier and more effective. Among these solutions is enterprise mobility management.
In the wake of organizations rolling out a fleet of mobile devices to support employees working from home, enterprise mobility management (EMM) is gaining popularity. Enterprise mobility management is an IT framework for managing and securing mobile devices, applications, and data used in remote working. It consists of tools, policies, and processes used to deploy on-premise as well as remote mobile devices that have access to the organization’s enterprise network.
Enterprise mobility management is typically comprised of four main components. Among them is mobile device management, which allows organizations to manage and secure mobile devices used by remote workers. Such devices include smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Also, part of the EMM solution is mobile identity management, which ensures that only trusted mobile devices have access to the enterprise.
Furthermore, mobile content management is an EMM solution that provides remote workers with secure access to internal resources such as data. There is also mobile applications management, which is a solution that allows IT administrators to manage software and services used in remote working.
Enterprise mobility management has twofold objectives: device and data security.
The cybersecurity threats organizations face increase with the addition of more devices, especially personal remote devices. Every connected device creates a node that can be used by cyber players to gain entry into an enterprise network. Remote working, in particular, is characterized by insecure personal remote devices that make it difficult for organizations to protect their internal networks.
Enterprise mobility management aims to address this problem. It ensures that remote workers install endpoint security solutions on their devices. It also allows the organizations’ IT administrators to monitor these personal devices for any unusual behavior.
Remote workers often store their organization's private data on their devices. Such devices also often have open access to the organization’s enterprise networks. In the event these devices are stolen or compromised, all the data they contain and those stored in enterprise networks would be at great risk.
But with an enterprise mobility management solution, organizations can better protect their data. EMM has a feature that allows your organization’s IT team to remotely wipe data and revoke access privileges of stolen or compromised devices.
This section will be dedicated to specific tasks that IT departments are expected to perform to enable the digital transformation that is Enterprise Mobility Management. These may include (but not necessarily be limited to):
Remote working primarily depends on access to enterprise systems, data, and applications necessary for employees to complete their tasks. There are two basic concerns when it comes to accessibility: connectivity and device suitability. Remote working sometimes involves lots of online activities such as video conferences, and therefore organizations should ensure that their remote workers have reliable internet connectivity.
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However, some employees may not always have the right devices to access enterprise applications and data. The organization can address this problem by providing the employees with devices with suitable features for remote working.
Accessibility challenges may also reside on the enterprise side. You need to build an enterprise network with features that can support smooth remote working. That means using systems with enough storage capacity and speed to support huge workloads as well as multiple simultaneous connections of remote workers.
No specific area is as challenging as data security when it comes to enterprise mobility management. Threat players are becoming more motivated and sophisticated, targeting every enterprise, irrespective of the area of business—the more devices and applications connecting to the enterprise network, the more exposure to cyber-attack. Mobile devices, in particular, are of great concern. Stolen or compromised mobile devices put your enterprise data at great risk.
The solution to this challenge is to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity program that considers the risks posed by mobile enterprise solutions. That means adopting strong authentication and encryption measures to filter out unauthorized access.
Integrating legacy systems
Your organization might be deploying many other business tools and applications. Some of these may include database management systems or enterprise resource management systems. The next step would be to ensure that these legacy tools and applications integrate well with enterprise mobility management.
Furthermore, you should ensure that there are no compatibility issues between your legacy applications and the mobile devices of your remote workers. Similarly, there should be a seamless integration between these mobile devices and your enterprise systems. For instance, if your enterprise systems run on Windows operating system, your employees’ mobile devices should also be running the same platform.
In some instances, enterprise mobility systems are difficult to integrate. As a solution, some experts suggest the cloud as a suitable medium to establish a connection between remote workers' mobile devices and enterprise systems and applications.
Ensuring a seamless, problem-free user-experience
Developing enterprise mobility systems is not just about getting them to function properly. You would also want to foster a seamless, problem-free user experience. Achieving this objective will go a long way to improve efficiency and productivity among your employees. So developing a user-friendly enterprise mobility system is one of the areas that you should first focus on.
For this, you should ensure that the mobile applications are compatible with mobile devices used by your employees. You should also pay attention to their user interface. Great user interfaces make it easy to navigate. In addition, mobile applications should be easy to operate.
Synchronized with emerging technologies
New mobile technologies emerge every time, and existing ones get upgraded on a regular basis. The challenge, therefore, is to ensure that enterprise mobility applications are synchronized with evolving and emerging technologies.
One of the new mobile technologies is edge computing, a concept that allows the processing of data at the near-source, thereby reducing the burden on the network. Enterprise mobile app developers need to incorporate such technologies, lest they miss their benefits.
The concepts of remote and hybrid working are increasingly becoming popular among enterprises. These working arrangements reduce operations costs and improve work-life balance when properly implemented. Enterprise mobility management is a framework that helps organizations implement an effective remote work program. Tata Communications has vast experience assisting private and public enterprises deploy and managing their remote work programs. Schedule a consultation with us today to learn more about the benefits of our enterprise mobility management solutions.