Corporate buy-in for large-scale enterprise mobility projects is often much easier to achieve than for behind-the-scenes infrastructure upgrades. A mobile-enabled workforce brings tangible business benefits in the form of cost savings and increased productivity, regardless of industry sector.
However, increased mobility is not without its risks. The global market for enterprise security investment is estimated to have reached £53bn in 2017, yet two-thirds of companies are still reporting data breaches. Think of Equifax and other cyber incidents.
But this isn’t a case of simply buying a few software licences. As with any large-scale IT project, how can you ensure success? We’ll look at five key things to consider when planning an enterprise-wide mobility project.
1. Get a clear idea of your requirements
Whilst it’s true that vendor consolidation is a seemingly unstoppable force, not all Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions are the same. More importantly, not every organisation will have the same needs. Undertake a comprehensive review of your data, user base, asset estate and associated governance policies.
Trends in enterprise mobility are focusing less on the mobile device itself and shifting towards accessing the data securely, hence end-user acceptance is a key priority.
Most enterprise-grade EMM solutions offer mobile app management, mobile content management, app wrapping, containerisation and more, meaning you can secure corporate data with precision granularity without affecting personal data on either company-owned or personal devices. What this means practically for IT professionals is that there’s now a choice to be made about where to draw the perimeter—around the whole device, or individual apps.
More questions to ask in your initial scoping phase might be whether key enterprise integrations with services like Microsoft, Google, or Box are required? Is file-level authentication and protection important? What about mobile identity management - how are user and device certificates managed and authenticated? In case of a suspected breach or loss of device, would you like the ability to remove only corporate data, or wiping the entire device?
Preparing some answers to these questions helps standardise collective understanding of the scope of your mobility project, set clear timescales, goals and more.
2. What are your pain points?
Through our own dialogue with customers, people we meet at events and colleagues across the industry, these are the top four issues we get asked about.
- How do I manage a mixed mobile estate in an enterprise environment?
- I’ve got different lines of business, each with different requirements and levels of understanding around enterprise mobility—what’s the best way of reconciling each?
- How can I be sure that I’m compliant with new regulations coming out all the time?
- Tech markets evolve and change constantly—will my project be future-proof?
What are your top concerns? It might be that you’re going into your enterprise mobility management project confident in its direction and scope, or it might be that you have pages of unanswered questions. Either way—have a clear idea of the questions you need to ask vendors, consultants and agencies and then get the answers to them.
3. What does success actually look like for you?
It might sound basic, but how can you guarantee success without a clear idea of what it means? It’s here that classic project management techniques will help immeasurably. Having undertaken over 200 mobility projects for large clients across the UK in a wide variety of sectors, all with wildly different requirements, we feel like we’re in a good place to lay out some best practice in the field.
First off, having identified your requirements, let’s think about a timescale. Will time be a constraint? Are there regulatory concerns that mean your organisation needs to be compliant by a certain date? Or do you have the freedom to design and implement a mobility solution and choose your own timescales?
Once you have an idea of your time-scale and requirements, you can start talking to vendors, consultants and colleagues in other companies. Talk to as many as you can, and get a feel for the market. What platforms appeal to you? Do certain consultants prefer one vendor over another? Why? Ask colleagues in other companies for their experiences.
Lay out clear deliverables, goals and services you want to offer your end-users. You’ll start to see whether your timescale is realistic, or whether you should think about extending it, or breaking down your aims into different phases.
At this stage, you’ll start developing an idea of whether you want to manage your EMM project yourself, or work in partnership with an agency, consultants or managed service providers to help you. Review their proposals carefully. When looking at budget, it’s important to understand Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This should go beyond the costs of licensing and devices, and include associated ongoing training, operational and personnel costs.
4. Stay in touch—communication is key
As mobility projects affect a whole organisation, effective communication throughout is vital. Start with your budget: is your proposal accurately conveying the value you want to deliver? Will its language be understood by all who need to review it?
Secondly, and more importantly, your user base needs to be kept informed at each stage of your process. Keep in mind that your project will deliver real security benefits to your organisation and not extra layers of administrative headaches. Frame it positively in company newsletters and corporate information. It’s important to allay any fears that the company wants to develop Orwellian-style surveillance. For example:
Our new security solution will make your lives easier by offering you an easy way to download and manage corporate applications, access email and WiFi with trusted authentication certificates resident on your device, work with corporate data securely and gives you easy MFA options with your own device. Don’t worry, the IT department will only have access to corporate applications and data, and your personal data and usage remains totally private at all times.
5. Don’t forget about training
Lastly, one of the common markers of success in any IT project is user adoption. Enterprise mobility management solutions are one of a select few technologies that really live up to the ‘transformational’ moniker thrown around all too often.
It is paramount that your user base understand what mobility management software does and what it can enable for them and the way they do their job. Make sure that you have adequate resources in place to deliver training sessions in-person, via webinars or even simple factsheets outlining new services available to staff. Equally, as with any new service, platform or technology, your helpdesk team need to understand it well in advance of your end-user rollout to be able to deliver efficient support properly.
We often deliver projects bundled with included training sessions for our clients, whether onsite in their own offices or in our specially-designed facility outside Cambridge. We’re the only certified MobileIron (our EMM solution of choice) training provider in the UK and run courses all year round, helping customers maximise returns on their mobility project investment.
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Join the conversation
Hopefully this article has been helpful on your journey scoping out an enterprise mobility management solution. We’d be delighted to meet you in person and hear about your project at one of our events. We hold Mobile IT User Forum events all across the country—the next one’s in London on the 4th July.
You’ll be able to speak with us one-to-one about best practice for your upcoming projects, hear from some of the leading vendors in the marketplace and meet and discuss problems with your peers—and all for free.