Mobility is a frequently used (perhaps even over-used) term in today’s organisations. Initially, it simply defined on-the-go communication and collaboration. Over the past year or two, the term has been used to refer to the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). But mobility at an enterprise level is more than just on-the-go communication and BYOD.
Mobility in an enterprise is about creating a secure, integrated experience between business and technology to drive improved efficiency, productivity, collaboration and innovation. This integrated experience manifests itself in different ways for organisations in different industries.
In this article, Logicalis’ Enterprise Solution Architect, Martin Lindeman, outlines the various components of a mobility experience in different organisations:
1. Guest Access
In an enterprise network, guest access must be available, especially if an organisation works with external stakeholders. For instance, an external contractor visiting an office to discuss a project may need access to the organisation’s network resources to obtain the information they need to perform their job.
Of course, it is vital that access to that enterprise network by external visitors is controlled, and this policy must be included in an organisation’s mobility strategy. Some organisations may choose to control guest access by setting a time limit, or blocking access to certain network resources. For greater control, organisations may need to create different usernames and passwords for individual guests to access the network to allow selective restriction if needed.
2. Data Management on Personal Mobile Devices
The use of personal mobile devices to access organisational data is widespread and it is not uncommon for employees to store corporate data on their personal devices. Whilst this is necessary at times to avoid hindering productivity, it also comes with potentially serious security risks.
An organisation’s mobility strategy must include ways to manage access and storage of confidential data on personal devices. There must also be a contingency plan to protect the data in case the device goes missing or is stolen, for example, via a selective remote wipe.
3. Facilities Management
Another key component of an enterprise mobility strategy is facilities management. Organisations must manage their network to cope with the expected number of users, but as the network becomes more pervasive, it can provide enhanced value to the organisation. For instance, organisations can manage large numbers of mobile users in their facilities by providing free wireless hotspots throughout their facilities. Real time analysis of this data allows the organisation to respond, perhaps by deploying additional staff with specific skills or roles such as receptionists, carers or security staff.
Additionally, the business may choose to offer free wireless access in exchange for valuable data. For instance, by asking visitors to log on to the network using their Facebook username, which then provides the organisation with their user and demographic data. Of course, this must be supplemented by their consent to your terms and conditions. It is also important to control and manage this access to secure your data.
4. Asset Management
For certain industries, a mobility strategy needs to include real-time asset management. In hospitals, universities and convention centres, for example, it is important to be able to track and locate mobile assets such as wheelchairs, carts and trolleys respectively in real-time.
This can greatly enhance efficiency and productivity - by ensuring people can locate what they need and get to it quickly - given the large size of such facilities. It is perhaps most critical in a hospital environment given the time-sensitive nature of the environment.
From the above examples, it is clear that mobility is no longer just about the provisioning of remote access or BYOD.
Mobility is about enabling organisations to communicate with customers in different ways, create new revenue streams, reduce infrastructure costs and obtaining a competitive advantage in the market, without compromising security or manageability.
To learn how you can utilise mobility to achieve competitive advantage, register for our briefing on Leveraging Mobility in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. Logicalis’ Enterprise Solution Architect, Martin Lindeman, will discuss insight from several organisations that have successfully leveraged mobility for their success.