Mobility is everywhere. Whether you need to hail a cab, do some shopping, or make plans with a friend – there is an app that can help. According to a recent report from Cisco, there will be more than 10 billion mobile devices by 2017 that people will use for their personal and work lives.
The rapid growth of BYOD in the workplace has created increasingly difficult challenges for today’s enterprise. People want to do work on their mobile devices; however the apps they need are not fully available on mobile form factors. These lite versions of apps often do not provide the same functionality that users want and need when working remotely.
When it comes to fully supporting the mobile workforce and the variety of devices and apps people require to work on the go, IT departments are in a quandary. There are three major hurdles to truly mobilizing workforces beyond delivering email.
App Development and Maintenance Costs Have Hindered IT
IT and app developers are constantly playing catch-up to mobile OS developers and manufacturers by trying to adapt to the ever-changing mobile platform updates. This is a losing battle, as shown in a recent study of 300 CIOs conducted by data security provider Mobile Helix and research firm Vanson Bourne. The study found only one in five (21%) of enterprise apps can be used on a mobile device. When you take into consideration that the mobile workforce trend continues to grow, it is clear that employees need greater access to content and apps.
Re-engineering applications for various mobile devices and platforms has proven to be resource and cost prohibitive. Enterprises struggle to prioritize which apps should be re-coded and which ones to “leave behind.” This is problematic when supporting comprehensive worker productivity. A study by CompTIA found that 62 percent of IT and business executives believe that mobile access will drive productivity gains. Additionally, the MobileHelix survey revealed that 87 percent of CIOs believe their employees want more access to enterprise data and applications on their mobile devices and that they expect to see a 36 percent increase in employee productivity if key enterprise applications are mobilized.
Without appropriate access to business-critical applications and content from mobile devices, employees’ productivity is limited. Lite versions of essential programs and apps simply won’t cut it when you’re looking to increase responsiveness, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Security Issues with BYOD Have Dominated the Conversation
The security risks associated with BYOD and mobile device access continue to plague IT. The Mobile Helix survey also revealed that 63 percent of CIOs said security risks were seen as barriers to widespread enterprise app adoption on mobile devices.
Advances in leading mobile-device-management solutions, such as Good Technology and MobileIron, have relieved some of these concerns. However, the enterprise must make security a priority when dealing with data on employees’ mobile devices. Because of compliance and security fears, many enterprises have been wary of enabling access to business-critical apps on employee-owned devices.
Early Desktop Virtualization Was Not Considered A Potential Solution
Desktop virtualization has come in and out of favor over the past decade. Many IT leaders have debated its total cost of ownership and value given its complexity and the amount of IT time and resources required to fully implement it.
Newer remote desktop and application access solutions can be used to bridge mobile devices with desktops or servers where apps have traditionally “lived.”
This kind of solution takes a universal approach to access that goes beyond form factors and operating systems, freeing enterprises from the need for re-coding resource, and time issues.
Supporting a truly mobile workforce despite a rapidly changing mobile landscape
Enterprises can now embrace alternative (simpler, more cost effective) technologies to bridge the gap between mobile devices, PCs, servers, and clouds so employees have the freedom to access all their familiar programs and apps whenever they need to use them.
Technologies continue to advance at a rapid speed, and many businesses can’t keep pace. There are many thousands of customized business applications that can’t possibly be rewritten and updated for all mobile device platforms in a timely or affordable manner.
Continuing developments and changes from mobile manufacturers are a certainty, so the best strategy is to adopt flexible, nimble solutions that work with all mobile platforms to optimize and manage ongoing updates. That way, IT departments can support the mobile workforce without skipping a beat.