Mobile devices are helping to liberate the workforce. They are freeing employees to easily access email and make use of business applications while tapping critical information regardless of where their work takes them. At the same time, growing reliance on those devices is creating serious headaches for CIOs.
As enterprises attempt to gain greater control over smartphones, CIOs are encountering the distinct management challenges they present. The most critical challenges stem from the complexity of the mobility ecosystem, a network made up of mobile carriers, device manufacturers, ISVs, distributors and other entities that contribute to an enterprise mobility solution. Without an understanding of how to work with the different players in the mobility ecosystem, enterprises will be unable to negotiate optimal deals for mobile devices or deploy them with the applications, tools and accessories, and security required for business users.
During this economic downturn, when corporate resources are particularly strained, few enterprises are able to allocate staff to develop and nurture relationships within the mobility ecosystem. As a result, they do not have the information they need to assess different devices or track problems with defective devices. To keep pace with growing demand for mobility, many organizations are augmenting their internal capabilities with outside expertise while they develop a mobility strategy and grapple with the challenges of managing and supporting mobile devices. By balancing internal resources and outsourced services, many organizations are finding they can amass the knowledge, skills, and best practices they need to effectively maneuver in a very challenging environment.
Assess your organization's mobility strengths
Your organization can adopt this approach - mixing internal and external resources - to leverage best practices for selecting devices for your workforce, negotiating advantageous plans, efficiently managing your mobile devices and ultimately, reducing mobility costs.
The best way to start is by understanding the challenges you face and how your staff and other resources stack up against them. It is likely that your enterprise, like most, is trying to take advantage of the productivity benefits mobility offers without having a mobility infrastructure in place. Unfortunately, the rapid explosion of mobility, at a time when IT resources are overextended, has required enterprises to react to user demand for mobility before they were able to even consider best practices and corporate standards for those devices. The short-term solution most organizations have taken, ignoring mobile devices or allowing them to proliferate without adequately addressing such issues as application provisioning and security, will prove insufficient in the long run.
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