Mr. Sriram Kakarala is the Vice President of Products at ProMobi Technologies. He carries with him immense experience of more than 17 years in developing mobile applications. Being an engineer at heart, he holds expertise in developing ingenious products from scratch. He is one of the innovative minds behind Scalefusion which is an effortless mobile device and endpoint management solution for organizations.
2020 was world-altering, and not just in the general sense of things but also in highlighting the importance of technology more than ever. With the world being pushed into mandated lockdowns, the ability for businesses to thrive was in serious jeopardy, especially the ones that were inept while keeping up with the changing times. Because enterprise mobility should have not been a novelty in 2020.
Enterprise mobility: What it meant before the pandemic
Computers have been dominating the workspaces for more than three decades and mobile phones have been around since 2007. And yet, it was a global pandemic that pushed the enterprise world into the state of urgency to adopt, shop and get going with digital devices to make remote working a reality. It’s not like enterprise mobility was unheard of, or that there were a few sectors where the need for it was unidentified. Call it the attitude of ‘why fix something that is not broken?’ or the hesitation resulting in non-fulfillment, but the truth is, enterprise mobility was fragmented.
The industries that employed and deployed field forces or frontline workers have been using enterprise mobility solutions from optimized business models for a long time. Paper-pen-based transactions were already replaced with mobile devices and apps.
However, most organizations thought of enterprise mobility as a ‘nice-to-have’ and not a ‘must-have’. It was considered to be costly, complex, and most importantly, unnecessary. After the pandemic struck, the organizations that were on the fence about adopting enterprise mobility had to do so and be quick while at it.
Why enterprise mobility is a norm in 2022
The pandemic made enterprises aware of unprecedented situations that could arise in the future, but what it also did was empower them with the idea that remote work is possible, is more often than not, cost-effective and despite the working environment, mobility was equivocally crucial. Enterprise mobility ensured that businesses could stay afloat despite being geographically distributed, it enabled organizations to keep running when the entire workforce was working remotely, and it also eliminated the complex work cycles by translating them into systemized, efficient workflows using modern mobile apps.
Remote-first, mobile-first makes more sense than ever.
Employees are also looking out for flexibility to work from anywhere. And while there will always be a divide between people who prefer working from physical office locations, there will always be a giant part of the workforce that will always look for remote work. This means that enterprises cannot tie down the employees to a desk-computer setup anymore.
For enterprises that employ a large number of frontline employees, enterprise mobility came along as the most rapid and effective way to get things done. Imagine an EMT without a custom mobile device? Or a driver still using a legacy process to log in driving hours. There’s no question that enterprise mobility is the most favorable solution going forward for the frontline.
Also, modern customers are looking for innovative solutions- when ordering food, hailing service, or shopping in a retail store. To sit at the forefront of customers’ eyes, conventional brick-and-mortar businesses also have to take a step ahead- with retail kiosks, self-service kiosks, and digital self-payments using mPOS.
The education industry has also been heavily revolutionized by the influx of mobile devices. Schools are now more comfortable with virtual classrooms and students often prefer a combination of classwork and learning using EdTech apps (whose popularity, by the way, was through the roof during the pandemic).
The challenges of enterprise mobility
Enterprise mobility was adopted by most organizations in a rush, and hence was not holistically approached. And it made sense then since it was a test against the time. But the challenges of enterprise mobility were known and now highlighted more than ever.
The dynamic and flexible working environment that enterprise mobility can bring forth also raises the concern of data security- employees connecting to unknown networks, lurking home devices in the background, unmanaged personal devices in use (BYOD), and shared devices. According to a survey, 77% voted data security and user privacy as the biggest concerns in implementing enterprise mobility.
Not to mention, the workplace distractions caused by the use of mobile devices and heightened spending on mobile data (often eaten up by the entertainment and gaming apps). Preventing misuse of the device, and ensuring security against unauthorized access and theft is critical.
Also, the enablement and provisioning of this humongous number of devices is a concern. An employee can stay motivated and productive when they are engaged, have access to the right business resources (that are not outdated) and have a secure environment to communicate and collaborate. Providing real-time support in case of any device error is yet another concern since that can severely impact employee productivity and bring business operations to a standstill.
The enterprise IT teams are hence overwhelmed with the idea of enterprise mobility and rightly so. Making use of an MDM solution hence is eminent.
The way out
There is no question that enterprise mobility is set to transform the future of businesses, but it can do so only when coupled with an appropriate MDM solution. An MDM (mobile device management) solution can not only curb the security concerns that enterprise mobility raises but can also be the right way to future-proof remote working in general. MDM can accommodate the needs of BYOD (a trend that will likely continue to dominate in the era of employee flexibility) and also envelope the management challenges ushered in by device fragmentation (multiple OS, make, and model types). This can not only ensure that businesses use the devices that they truly need and love but can also make the lives of IT teams easier. And that can culminate into exciting use cases featuring mobile devices.