Enterprise Mobility Challenge #2: Supporting Employees on Multiple Endpoints

Our last post covered how to resolve the first challenge of Enterprise Mobility: defining best practices and policies for your organization. This post discusses how to support employees on multiple endpoints.

Once there is a clear understanding of your organizational and security requirements, you need to understand your users – where and how they access corporate information and resources, and what devices they are using to do this.

Today’s enterprise workforce is dependent on multiple devices: according to industry analyst EMA, 87% of all business professionals employ a PC, along with either a smartphone or tablet (or both). [EMA: Supporting Workforce Mobility: Best Practices in Enterprise Mobility Management, October 2013.]

The biggest impact of mobile devices on IT is not the volume of devices, but the style of support that is necessary. BYOD limits the scope of service IT is required to provide, and puts more of the responsibility on the end user. The variety of mobile devices (i.e., iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.) and the frequency with which they are changed also limits the breadth of platform expertise the IT staff can realistically possess.

Mobile platforms place more control in the hands of the user. If the user owns the device, IT can’t push changes and configurations autonomously;  the end user plays an active role in the process. This means that some updates will be more critical, and thus the mechanisms that enforce compliance will vary.  Policies that define which types or models of devices will be supported and the extent to which IT will provide technical support for these devices must also be covered.

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