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Enterprise Mobility Management: Balancing Between Mobility and Security

Pentagon welcomed its first wireless internet network ever in late 2016. Yes! The five sided concrete structure that was a black hole for all mobile and radio networks, now has its own WiFi. This is a development that even Pentagon’s own IT team could not have predicted a decade ago. It was a huge project worth approximately $40 million, but Pentagon realized the strong need for secure online mobile communications. Pentagon is not the only government agency to join the “mobility revolution.” Many government as well as corporate agencies that deal with sensitive data have now created designated areas where employees can work on classified projects and use their mobile devices for their work.

They have to!

Employees today demand more flexibility, more mobility and more freedom in the way they work. Moreover, encouraging mobility is a move in favor of efficiency. According to a Gartner survey in 2016, 75% of the workers would receive some “PC-type” device from workplace in the US, UK, and Australia. However, the same statistic for mobile devices was only 23%. This figure implies that a majority of employees will use their own smartphones at the workplace. Issuing mobile devices might appear as a huge cost at first, but as the Gartner study puts it, “proper usage of mobile devices can increase productivity, which can easily justify the extra costs.”

Which organization will turn its back on a strategy that improves its efficiency? Well, there are some, but let’s not go there today.

Mobility helps the organization work in a leaner fashion, but it also brings in a lot of security concerns. With unsupervised devices carrying critical company information, mobility can very well become a ticking time bomb.

Organizations have to strike a fine balance between offering mobility to their employees and ensuring the security of the sensitive corporate data they carry in the corporate mobile devices. They should be able to safeguard the hundreds of mobile devices of their employees, even while they are connected to unsecure mobile networks.

Mobility Lifecycle Management companies allow organizations to achieve this goal. They can secure the data on mobile devices using a variety of tools and provide support to end users when needed.

A big part of EMM is Mobile Device Management (MDM). It can help create secure containers which can segregate personal data from the organization data. Such mobile partition enables the employees to better manage their personal and professional data. When such secure containers are present, the organization data will remain safe. Even if the device is lost, MDM can also help in administering a data wipe to keep the company information from falling into the wrong hands.

With Mobile Application Management (MAM), the organization gets control of installing, updating, and uninstalling apps on the mobile device. Different applications offer a variety of layers of security. Some will make sure that you have the updated operating system on your device, while others will ensure that your device has all the necessary controls enabled, and so on.

Mobile Identity Management (MIM) is a critical EMM tool. It is used to ensure that only a trusted user gains access to sensitive corporate data. It includes generating device certificates, single sign on, app authentications, and more.

Mobility Lifecycle Management companies can help an organization realize the full potential of their employees and improving company security while allowing internal IT personnel to focus on more mission critical tasks. MLM should be though more of a strategic partner rather than an afterthought. Why? Enterprise mobility has just begun to spread its wings. When Pentagon has given in to a technology, then it’s a good evidence of its longevity.

So, it’s high time for businesses to sit down their IT team and discuss the future of the company “mobility-wise.”