July 10, 2019
By: Dipesh Hinduja, Mobile Solutions Architect at Stratix
If you take a second out of your busy day as an IT decision-maker and be absolutely quiet, you can hear it – a perfect storm brewing.
The paradigm of enterprise technology is shifting from desktop to mobile. Data networks are evolving with the advent of new technologies such as fifth-generation (5G) mobile broadband. Consumers are increasingly relying on mobile devices as their primary computing device, and their preferences are carrying over to business environments. The demand to meet all of these developments is only rising, which means the demand for robust mobile infrastructure in your enterprise grows right along with it.
Integrating truly effective mobile infrastructure with your existing IT ecosystem is no easy effort, however. The pitfalls of ballooning costs, poorly-defined scope and slow, inflexible deployment have ensnared many a company looking to make the most out of their investment in mobile technology. The good news is that there are simple strategies to help you avoid mistakes in an enterprise mobility infrastructure rollout or refresh.
Minimum Risk, Maximum Yield
In-house mobile deployment and integration seems like a sensible proposition. After all, who knows your own needs better than your existing IT personnel? What those same personnel may not know, however, is the inherent complexities involved in deploying devices at scale to multiple locations and multiple types of employees. Deploying without proper surveying and planning tends to be a recipe for disaster – especially when deploying to hundreds of field locations and/or brick-and-mortar stores, all with their own individual challenges.
Security Comes First
When integrating a new mobile infrastructure or refreshing an existing one, you’ll need to stand it up with data security as a primary concern. In the modern workforce, employees are used to working with their devices anywhere, anytime. This increases the risks of loss or theft of devices containing sensitive data, use of unauthorized apps and overlap between professional and personal device use cases – all significant factors in costly data breaches.
Enterprise-grade device security starts with choosing the right services and apps to accompany your devices, along with superior mobile device management (MDM) to ensure daily compliance. Start with a review of your current practices, then decide on the right mobile security partners for your environment.
Get to Know Your TCO
TCO, or total cost of ownership, is a simple concept that enterprises often misunderstand when planning a new or revamp of an existing mobile infrastructure. Upfront costs like device, app, and service provider purchases are easy enough to compute, but the lifecycle of a device entails provisioning, deployment, repair, spare pool management and more. Since the name of the game is mitigating ballooning costs, it may behoove you to pursue a model known as Mobile-as-a-Service (MaaS) – wherein these various costs are rolled into a single monthly per-device fee that offers a predictable monthly spend.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Crafting the right mobile strategy isn’t a one-and-done proposition. No matter how thorough your mobile blueprinting is, you’ll need to allow for flexibility and adjustments along the way. Every enterprise has a unique user community and unique business needs. When you sketch out what your mobile ecosystem should look like going forward, it’s important to have a common and clear understanding of your long-term strategy and desired outcomes.
You must be proactive with readiness and security assessments, health checks, and other environmental evaluations to help devise a sensible and sustainable mobile infrastructure deployment. This requires an explicit understanding of what’s needed for both Day-1 Deployment and Day-2 Support phases. Most importantly, making this work requires established relationships with the leading providers of mobile technologies, platforms and services to continually re-evaluate what solutions make the most sense for your business.
Support Your Support Team
One of the most common and crucial mistakes made when standing up mobile infrastructure is to leave Day-2 support operations firmly in the hands of your existing in-house help desk team. Keeping thousands of mobile devices active and productive takes a special blend of training, bandwidth and scale that few businesses possess. As important support metrics like response time, first call resolution and overall customer satisfaction drop due to insufficient dedicated mobile help desk personnel – so does your productivity.
These strategies are essential to achieve mobile success, but they can be overwhelming when mobile technology isn’t a core competency of your enterprise. The good news is that there are a number of managed mobility service providers who have the dedicated solution design, lifecycle management and help desk resources that can scale with both your needs and their other customers’ needs. If you opt for this avenue, take some time to carefully choose one that aligns with your enterprise’s business goals.
Dipesh Hinduja, Mobile Solutions Architect at Stratix
Dipesh Hinduja is the senior IT manager and technical architect at Stratix, specializing in maturing teams and businesses that operate in rapid-change technologies.