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Agile Computing Authors: Philippe Abdoulaye, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Mobile IoT: Article

Understanding the Mobility Customer

Why business, user and IT requirements drive mobility

Ben Franklin often said that "by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Not preparing for who your actual enterprise mobility management (EMM) customer is may have dire consequences as mobile devices (both personal and corporate-issued) access more corporate data. Before you can solve the requirements for EMM you have to properly define who the enterprise mobility customer is.

It may seem obvious who the customer is, but the road to EMM success is littered with failed projects (and companies for that matter) that didn't properly define who the EMM customer is. The EMM customer is three parts of any organization...the business itself, the actual users of course and the IT department. Understanding that you have to address requirements for each part is important and cannot be understated. Focusing on only one or two parts of an organization will prove costly.

Why? Why focus on these three parts of the organization? Well, it's first important to understand their requirements.

The business is looking for something far different from EMM than users and IT. The business needs to address compliance, privacy standards, data loss prevention, time-to-value, workforce productivity, employee satisfaction, reduce CAPEX/OPEX and choose a future proof-solution that will provide the best ROI at the lowest TCO among many other things. For example, a healthcare or government organization may need to address mandated security requirements and privacy standards based on their risk posture and/or tolerance. On the other hand a sales organization may look to improving workforce productivity and agility while securing corporate intellectual property. Every organization wants an EMM solution that enables them be agile, flexible and truly mobile. In addition, the need to address data loss prevention due to both sanctioned and unsanctioned bring-your-own device (BYOD) and bring-your-own apps (BYOA) has become paramount. Organizations are being bombarded with employees using consumer applications, especially content management solutions, to be more productive. And, even more importantly, organizations want to implement a solution that has long-term viability...a comprehensive solution that is delivered from a vendor with staying power.

The user (often overlooked) has completely redefined the way IT services are delivered. If you think about IT, it was once assumed that everyone would work in an office, use a corporate-issued PC and be attached to a wired network. The reality is that today's users are mobile, wireless, using cloud services, personal devices and mobile-apps. Users want device choice, and many now prefer to use iOS and Android devices. In some cases users possess many different types of devices depending on what they're trying to address while mobile both inside and outside of the office. I myself carry a HP Windows 7 laptop, Samsung Windows 8.1 tablet, Apple iPad, Samsung Note 10.1 tablet and Apple 5S iPhone. If I'm editing a Visio or Excel document, then I lean towards using my Windows devices. When I'm traveling both inside and outside the office, I grab my Apple iPad or my Samsung Note depending on specific tasks. And last but not least I am always using my phone at various times of the day to accomplish both personal and work-related tasks. This makes productivity apps that provide a native device experience essential. Most users want to use apps that mimic the functionality and ease of use that consumer apps offer. And, more importantly they want to use their own device and get access to all their corporate apps and data. They don't care if the app is Windows, web, SaaS, intranet or mobile... they want access and just expect it to work from any device. In a nutshell, users want performance, personalization and functionality.

IT wants a solution that gives them complete control over corporate data with the ability to monitor and manage the data and the devices they're on with a simplified process. The solution has to be enterprise grade and address the broadest set of EMM use cases. It has to be flexible enough to address device management, app management, content management, mobile device support, mobile collaboration and even more. Solution that offer the ability to deploy on-premise, in a secure public cloud or both is key. Many IT departments are looking to address business continuity and disaster recovery concerns as many organizations have SLAs that require 100% uptime and access to corporate data. The next hurricane or snowstorm that comes along shouldn't automatically mean a loss in workforce productivity. Complex, multi-product solutions from multiple vendors with different SLAs can be a someone that began his career in IT, I can tell you there is nothing worse than having an outage and sitting on a call with multiple vendors and everyone is pointing fingers at each just want "one throat to choke" and your issue resolved.

What next?
If you're looking to implement an EMM solution, it's important to do your due diligence. Implementing an EMM solution is both a team effort and a contact sport. It is important you get real engagement from key stakeholders and, of course, even ask the employees themselves. Reach out to non-typical stakeholders such as Legal, HR and even lines-of-businesses such as Sales as these stakeholders may have more influence over a possible EMM program than you think. After you put together your key stakeholders, it's important to remember the main issues that will affect your stakeholders' decision making process, and that includes, but is not limited to, strategy, funding and in-house skills. This is where it's important that you help them to rationalize and align key business drivers with those issues. One thing for certain is that "one size doesn't fit all".

Just remember, "by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."

More Stories By Christopher Campbell

Christopher Campbell is a leading expert in social media branding and marketing. He is a senior marketing manager for a multi-billion dollar technology company and a social media marketing advisor and consultant for SMB to mid-market organizations when he’s not doing pro-bono work for nonprofits. Christopher’s focus includes program development for driving customer enablement, awareness, engagement, thought leadership and conversion. He holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Miami and a Project Management Certification from Cornell University.

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