The Biggest Enterprise Mobility Blunders To Avoid In 2014

by Sohini Bagchi    Dec 26, 2013

mobile pitfalls

Going by the various analyst reports and predictions for 2014 and beyond, there is no doubt that enterprise mobility has emerged as a key focus area for businesses. It is also evident that in the next one year, mobile solutions, devices and apps will witness a greater share of IT spending by companies that are looking to increase their productivity and profitability. However, just as mobility will have its success story to share, failures are bound to happen when certain mobility practices are not followed in the organization. What can lead to these failures and how can enterprises avoid the pitfalls and create a successful mobile strategy in the next one year and thereafter.

Not taking BYOD seriously: Despite a dramatic increase in mobile device sales in the past year, BYOD security among employees remains static, believe experts. A recent Coalfire report examines that even though most organizations want the increase in productivity that mobile devices offer, majority do not provide company-owned tablets or mobile phones as a cost-saving measure.  Employees who want to use these devices must buy their own and are all too often left to secure potentially private information themselves. “Despite the growing scope of BYOD or BYOX as we may call it, most companies still have not embraced a suitable mobility strategy with BYOD as the focus, whether it is about a simple remote wipe function or a Mobile Device or apps management solution,” says Tim Jennings, Senior Researcher at Ovum. he believes that not adding BYOD security to their mobile plan would be the biggest mistake for businesses.

[Read: 5 critical BYOD mistakes to avoid]

Treating mobile only as CIO’s responsibility: Mobile is something that affects all the practices of an organization from sales to finance and from legal to the HR. most organizations however still view mobility as an IT function, putting an additional pressure on the CIO. Of course with its technical intricacies mobility will always be an important part of the IT department. However, unless it is seen as an integral part of an organization’s overall business strategy, enterprise mobile strategies will not succeed, believes Jaideep Ghosh, Partner KPMG. “The question over who owns an organization’s mobile strategy needs a review in the coming months. C-suites should decide on the specific mobility functions in various departments and then work together to bring value to the table,” he says.

[Read: CFO, CMO or CIO: Who is really taking IT decisions?]

Not focusing on virtualization: With the increasingly mobile workforce, CIOs are being asked to support more devices as more users begin to use their own machines or devices to access corporate data. In working with BYOD, IT managers must manage the endpoint or the workload. This is when companies need a virtualized environment, an area that companies need to get serious about. “With virtual environments, managers are actually able to centralize the application, data and even desktop delivery process. A good mobility and BYOD initiative, coupled with virtualization, can therefore create a flexible environment by increasing employees and also bring business value,” explains Daisy Chittilapilly, Director, ITS, Cisco India &SAARC.

Ignoring the video revolution: Video revolution is already underway, thanks to the increased availability of end user devices and quality software from Cisco, Microsoft and Polycom. According to Gartner 70% of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018 which indicates that remote working and BYOD will accelerate. With tablets and smartphones exponentially increasing the number of potential video communication endpoints, companies that do not see video a key business driver are there to lose, explains Bob Harkins, Vice President of Carousel Industries in his blog post. “Video is not just about executives sitting in the conference room anymore and organizations are making a real effort to ensure video communications become a day-to-day method for doing business even while on the move,” he says.

[Read: BYOD, cloud to impact video conferencing market]

Taking the shortcut approach to mobile security: Mobile security must be integral to every mobile initiative an enterprise considers. A study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that 75% of IT security professionals said mobile devices will pose the biggest threat to companies’ security in 2014, up from just 9% in 2010. Additionally, 68% of respondents said their mobile devices have been targeted by malware in the last 12 months. “With more stories of security breaches from mobile devices, it is imperative that the security discussion should be an integral part of every IT project,” says Samit ray, CIO at PwC.

In most cases, even though companies realize that security should be at the top of their mind, they often forget the basics, says Andy Steingruebl, senior manager, customer and eco-system security at PayPal. “Simple steps such as keeping your machines clean, updating the latest security software, web browser, and operating system on a regular basis can protect against viruses, malware, and other online threats,” says Steingruebl. He believes that it is essential to provide firewall security for your Internet connection, install antivirus software to run a scan after each update as well as other key software updates on a regular basis.

Other details like selecting the wrong mobile device, not training employees on workplace mobility norms and missing out on a good mobile management vendor can also lead to business pitfalls in the coming year. Mobility can bring immense gain to business on the other hand and by making the right moves will give an edge to businesses to stay ahead of the pack in the coming year.