It is becoming increasingly difficult to remember a time when companies and individual workers did not rely on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. These products are rapidly becoming a standard part of the IT environment, along with managed services, desktops, networks and cloud computing.
The mobile revolution brings with it some compelling benefits for organizations and users. Never before have employees been so well equipped to work from remote locations or while they are on the move.
Mobile users can access data on the enterprise network, collaborate with colleagues and customers regardless of their locations, and be more productive and available in general. The big picture benefits, in addition to increased productivity and enhanced communications, can include improved customer service, faster time to market, increased sales and more informed decision-making.
Nevertheless, these benefits can come at a price. Mobility brings a unique set of challenges, particularly for large enterprises. Among these are managing the variety of devices and operating systems, and making apps and updates easily available to users. Perhaps the biggest challenge is ensuring the security of the devices themselves, the apps they run and the corporate IT resources the devices can access.
These are not small considerations for IT and security departments. It is not unusual for global enterprises to support hundreds and even thousands of mobile devices. Many of these are corporate-owned. But a growing number are owned by employees and are capable of accessing enterprise networks as part of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs.
The sheer magnitude of an enterprise mobility environment is what keeps many IT and security executives on edge. While small and midsize companies have many of the same concerns about mobile technology, those around enterprise mobility are on a much larger scale, and any tools and services put in place to address the mobile challenges need to be easily scalable.