The philosophies of proactive and reactive management can be applied to almost any line of business. In general, it refers to the difference between reacting to events as they happen versus anticipating those events ahead of time, and either planning for them accordingly or preventing bad situations from arising.
In the context of enterprise mobility management, reactive vs. proactive strategies are more a product of a company’s stage in the mobility maturation process. After becoming aware of the need for mobility management solutions, enterprises typically embrace reactive solutions that respond to security risks and other points of concern.
Reactive solutions are important, but enterprise mobility doesn’t fully mature until it builds out a proactive strategy that optimizes existing mobility while mitigating problems before they start. As EnterpriseAppsTech points out, this maturation process is normal, but progress to a proactive mindset is of utmost importance.
The simplest forms of enterprise mobility management are all about putting out fires. As MindTools points out, reactive strategies are important but risky: They typically do nothing to prevent problems from breaking out, and they result in lower-quality work than more mature management strategies.
“The simplest forms of enterprise mobility management are all about putting out fires.”
BYOD and other early mobility management strategies are typically reactive in nature. Companies manage device usage by establishing a set of approved applications, but employees have limited access to custom-built apps. For a company that doesn’t have any mobility management measures in place, these are positive steps forward.
However, reactive solutions eventually need to be supplemented with a more sophisticated strategy.
A shift to proactive EMM strategy brings a number of benefits that mainly enable greater employee productivity and better time management. One great example of this different approach is evident in the shift from BYOD strategies to corporate-owned-personally-enabled policies, also known as COPE.
While BYOD attempts to regulate and improve the security around personally owned mobile devices, COPE utilizes a fleet of mobile devices that are owned by the company, but which feature more flexible device use policies. By owning the devices but loosening up device management and policies, companies create a management system that is easier to control, and which has fewer points of concern than BYOD.
“COPE requires a greater, more proactive investment
on the part of enterprises,
but the benefits run much
deeper over time.”
COPE requires a greater, more proactive investment on the part of enterprises, but the benefits run much deeper over time. Similar instances of proactive EMM strategy include a more concrete plan for mobility management, as well as investments into custom enterprise apps and comprehensive device management extending well beyond basic MDM practices.
Of course, proactive strategies are always the goal — they mitigate damages, reduce risk, and position your organization as forward-thinking in its operations. But no matter how proactive your EMM solutions might be, unexpected events can occur, and the ability to react swiftly and decisively will remain an important attribute.
That’s why the best EMM solutions can handle proactive and reactive strategies in tandem. No matter where you are in your current operations, it’s entirely possible to build a more mature strategy capable of handling any enterprise mobility situation.