An effective mobility strategy is need of the hour

by Sohini Bagchi    Aug 30, 2012

Keith HigginsSymphony TelecaEnterprise mobility has matured in recent times and is viewed as an important part of the organisation’s IT strategy. However, with the proliferation of mobile technologies, CIOs often face certain challenges. In an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday, Keith Higgins, Chief Marketing Officer, Symphony Teleca Corporation, shares his views on the trends, challenges and opportunities in this space.

What do you think are the recent trends in enterprise mobility?

Enterprise mobility has evolved, in light of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon, the wealth of new applications and wireless platforms and the general acceptance of go-anywhere communications. Enterprise mobility has matured past the point of early market penetration and the prototypical early adopters. Therefore enterprises have started to prioritse the management and security of their mobile infrastructure as a key objective for IT today. IDC experts believe that by 2013, 40 percent of the global workforce will be mobile. Most enterprises have made it clear they expect cloud computing and SaaS to become the dominant – if not exclusive – software delivery mode in the future. There is also an explosion in the growth of mobile commerce. While there are lots of new tools and mobile device management platforms out there, all of the above-mentioned moving parts need to be integrated and maintained.

What challenges do CIOs highlight when it comes to dealing with mobility at the workplace?

CIOs and IT managers face numerous challenges as they embrace and support today’s evolving mobile workforce, with increasing device options. Some of these include securing the enterprise, managing mobile applications, devices and expenses, opening existing business applications to mobile workers, and efficiently introducing new mobile-friendly applications. An effective mobility strategy is the need of the hour that can help CIOs address the key mobility fundamental challenges. Some of these include the need to drive agility through platform-agnostic applications. Secondly, CIOs along with other business decision makers can play a key role in setting a mandate to ensure the safety of corporate data. For example, to minimise security risks to an organisation’s sensitive data, all mobile devices need to be connected to a centrally managed network to prevent rogue devices from accessing the network or applications. Filtering out information and tying available information to user privileges can also help to safeguard sensitive data.

What do companies need to think about before implementing an enterprise mobility initiative?

To put a whole mobility management solution in place, we don’t just need tools and smart applications, we have to get the right framework, the right strategy, the right solution in place – and manage it on an ongoing basis to deliver the expected productivity gains. When employees bring their own devices onto corporate networks, CIOs need to make sure their existing business applications are mobile-ready. Policy management, which enables businesses to decide who has access to which online applications and data, is also an important component to any mobility management strategy. Businesses should have the ability to lock and wipe data on mobile devices remotely in case those devices are lost or stolen. Above all else, the initiative should directly bear consequence on the company’s bottom line.

Please tell us about the Cloud storage and its implications to modern business with the proliferation of social and mobile technologies.

Most companies are quickly making cloud a technology of choice due to the benefits it offers around access to new markets, ability to create new revenue streams, lower costs, greatly enhanced flexibility and clear application differentiation. However the path to cloud has its own challenges like rightsizing the investment, addressing security issues, managing the change from software to services, identifying the target architecture, migration approach and managing operations efficiently. All this has to be done twice over, for the on-premise version as well as for the cloud version. It includes the options of migrating existing products to SaaS leveraging cloud platforms and infrastructure. Symphony Teleca Cloud Engineering Services Solution has three components under its umbrella each aimed at a different phase of the cloud journey – ‘choose’ that help choose the right option, ‘hop’ that includes taking your solution on cloud and ‘stay’ that implies how we manage the cloud operations.