CBR rounds up views from Accenture, Citrix, Cisco, Oracle, The Open University, Kony, We Know Data, Checkpoint, AVG, Druva, MobileIron, Mendix, Progress, NETGEAR, ProjectPlace and Tangoe.
6. Providing a strong network backbone
Tris Simmons, Networking expert at NETGEAR, points out that regardless of the software and policy in place, any mobility strategy needs to be built on a solid network.
"A successful enterprise mobility infrastructure, must be underpinned by a reliable and robust network infrastructure. So, C-level executives need to consider which network design best suits both their current and future mobility requirements, particularly as technology capabilities are continually evolving.
"If organisations want to reap the benefits from a truly mobile workforce, they need to put in place the right wireless infrastructure to support mobile working, both in and out of the office environment."
7. Supporting a mobile workforce
Once challenge arising from creating a ‘remote’ workforce is that they will now also be more remote from central command, requiring new provisions for IT support. Mike Foreman, General Manager of AVG Business explains:
"As employees reap the benefits of the BYOD trend and the freedom to work where they want, the business organisation benefits from increased productivity. However, this brings numerous challenges for managing IT support, mobile devices and providing remote assistant to workers where needed due to multiple locations.
"To address this problem, IT managers require an easy-to-use, streamlined system that enables them to manage multiple users, across multiple locations all simultaneously."
8. Skill shortages
Andrew Smith, Lecturer in Networking at The Open University, believes the main problems don’t lie in technology, but in personnel and skills. He elaborates:
"The main challenge of enterprise mobility, as with most areas of IT, is finding the right skills. Networking and cyber security both suffer form a dire skills gap. Enterprise mobility means all sorts of different technologies are being integrated into existing networks and must work seamlessly and securely. This means we need professionals that can work with all manner of technologies, solving difficult problems often by repurposing existing systems.
"None of this goes beyond existing IT knowledge, but if we are to deliver mobility solutions successfully, we need people who understand the available technologies and how to integrate them. This means bringing more professionals with networking and security skills into the industry and training existing professionals with the skills to take on such challenges."
9. Cultural hang-ups
Much of the BYOD revolution was driven by the end-users. Cisco argues that C-levels need to take more leadership. Sarah Eccleston, Director, Enterprise Networks and IoT, Cisco UK and Ireland, argues:
"Cisco estimates that global mobile data traffic will see a 10-fold growth by 2019, reaching an annual run rate of 292 exabytes per year. The uptake in smartphones, tablets and wearable devices means enterprises are becoming increasingly mobile and fuelling this significant increase in data traffic. As a result businesses are now faced with the challenge to not only meet growing demand for data consumption, but to ensure that IT control and security is maintained across all mobile devices, apps, data and the ever expanding network.
"Not only is this a technical challenge, but a cultural one also. Positive change needs to be driven from the top, taking into account factors such as ease-of-use and mitigation against security threats such as privacy risks associated with malware or intellectual property, to ultimately deliver an enhanced end-to-end mobile experience. "
10. Managing employee expectations
Finally, don’t forget the whole reason we’re undergoing this fabled ‘BYOD’ revolution in the first place – the employees. Workers will increasingly demand a certain level of enterprise mobility and it is important that the company facilitates this. Tobias Andersson, COO of Projectplace, comments:
"The Workforce 2020 study predicts that the ability to work at any time and from anywhere is becoming a major factor in the business world, especially with more millennials joining and shaping the workforce. Companies need to ensure they keep up with the times and provide the technology that their workers need to complete their jobs, and keep their customers happy.
"If they don’t, they risk losing the loyalty of their customers and even more so, their best talent. Therefore, managers need to choose virtualised tools and systems that are designed to increase agility and accessibility amongst their teams, all while still giving them the control they need to plan and manage their own tasks."
Shane Stowells, EMEA Director for Tangoe, agrees:
"BYOD is not just devices, apps and finance management. To be successful, it requires policies and strategies. In turn, the success of these comes down to Expectation Management.
"Employees want to access their corporate email and/or network from a favourite device with minimal corporate oversight. Meanwhile, regardless of who owns the device, IT professionals need to protect enterprise data and IT infrastructure against misuse.
"Expectation Management is unfortunately usually overlooked until a tsunami of dissatisfaction hits, with a ripple effect of reduced productivity. Good BYOD policy requires that a company clearly states what it offers and expects from employees.
"For instance, the company should state the conditions for a device wipe. If personal data is kept on the device, it is always at risk since the company has the right to protect its infrastructure from any suspected malware attack – even in a BYOD organisation.
"The IT team of course needs to make sure it has the tools it needs to easily define and deploy packages, resolve platform, memory, and application dependencies. But the "flipside" is that employees must understand usage expectations, such as what apps are blacklisted and the guidelines for contingencies such as a partial and full device wipe."