We live in an increasingly mobile world, which is why enterprise mobility solutions are so important to modern businesses. Since smartphone technology has become so ubiquitous, more employers and employees are taking advantage of the flexibility that these devices offer.
Enterprise mobility became a necessity as the COVID-19 pandemic affected the global economy and changed the way many people work and socialize. Enterprise mobility solutions are part of a broader corporate digital transformation, but mobile apps that provide mobility solutions and remote work are going to be the driving forces behind this trend for the foreseeable future.
Enterprise mobile app development will be an important investment for many businesses as they seek to harness the flexibility and power of mobility solutions. Let’s get a better understanding of what enterprise mobility solutions are and how they have evolved over the last few years. We’ll also delve into the different types of enterprise mobility solutions and how they benefit organizations.
Enterprise Mobility Solutions Defined
Nailing down a clear definition of enterprise mobility solutions can present difficulties since the term has evolved quite a bit over the years. Let’s start at the beginning. Mobile devices started becoming more powerful and capable with devices like Palm Pilot and Blackberry, but it wasn’t until the introduction of the first iPhone that the smartphone, as we know it now, really took off.
Now everyone has a mobile device, typically iOS or Android, that possesses a ton of computing power. This gave employees more flexibility and the ability to be agile in the field or wherever they were to access their work and data. This flexibility and agility also caused new issues, mainly security.
The security strategy adopted by businesses was referred to as enterprise mobility management. Enterprise mobility management typically uses a suite of mobile management systems and services to secure corporate data, intellectual property, and more on an employee’s mobile device.
When we refer to enterprise mobility solutions, enterprise mobility management systems and services are certainly part of the conversation. However, enterprise mobility solutions have evolved to encompass more than just mobile security concerns.
Now, when the terms enterprise mobility solutions or enterprise mobility management are used, people are also referring to enabling mobility in a broader sense. This includes access for personal laptops and other smart devices like tablets. Plus, it also includes thinking and strategy for creating great UI/UX app designs to engage employees and ensure productivity.
The simplest way to define enterprise mobility solutions is a suite of systems and services that aid organizations in providing their employees with secure access to corporate information and processes and help employers design engaging experiences that don’t hamper productivity.
Enterprise mobility solutions cover a wide range of things. However, the end goal is always secure mobile access and expansion of an employee’s access abilities through modern technology and mobile apps.
The Different Types of Enterprise Mobility Management Solutions
As you have already seen, enterprise mobility management solutions have evolved into a very broad term that encompasses a lot of different things. Some types of enterprise mobility management might be a good fit for business, and others may not.
Here are the basic enterprise mobility solutions that you will typically find:
- Device management
- App management
- Identity management
- Information management
- Content management
- Expense management
Some of these different solutions may overlap in some ways, but for clarity’s sake, it is best to go over each one separately. Any enterprise mobile app development strategy will likely want to account for most if not all of these key areas.
We live in a world filled with a wide variety of mobile devices. Many organizations are using IoT devices, and oftentimes, employees are also using a combination of personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops to do their work. These devices give employees the ability to work anywhere at any time, but there are also security concerns that can arise.
Device management typically involves installing profiles on smartphones and tablets that can remotely control, encrypt data, and enforce security standards. If a device gets lost or stolen, sensitive corporate information could be put at risk. Device management solutions in this scenario can wipe a device clean of all data and apps.
If you’re providing employees with mobile devices, device management solutions can also give you an overview of how your devices are being used, provisioned, the status of the operating system, and more.
This approach to enterprise mobility management has gotten very popular as more and more employees bring their own mobile devices to work. App management gives organizations the ability to manage software instead of hardware. Once the app has been installed on an employee’s mobile device or computer, it can be remotely updated, send push support, and manage licensing.
From a security perspective, this approach to enterprise mobility also gives an organization control over the app’s security. If a mobile device gets lost or stolen, for example, the controlling organization can delete the app and all of its associated data from the phone without wiping the phone clean. This is beneficial when you have employees who have left the organization as well.
If employees are going to be using their own mobile devices for work, this is one of the least intrusive methods of enterprise mobility management while also providing a high level of security. However, you must ensure that your app is cross-platform because it is highly unlikely that all of your employees will have the same types of devices.
Identity management can take a few different shapes in the broader enterprise mobility management context. These include:
- App code signatures
- Device certificates
- Single sign-on
The main objective of this approach is to ensure that only authorized users and devices access corporate data, applications, and processes. Identity management gives organizations the ability to issue department-level credentials to ensure that all team members have the same access to important information and apps.
In most cases, information management is enmeshed with device and app management services since the focus of this type of service is remote databases. This is an important aspect of enterprise mobility to consider when your organization relies on database tools that use the cloud.
Anytime multiple devices are accessing a database, you’ll want to consider the best way to manage your information so that it is not vulnerable. Luckily, there are a lot of great tools that are available, and device and app management mobility solutions already tend to cover this concern.
This is another variety of enterprise mobility solutions that is very similar to information management. However, content management is concerned with access to content rather than database access. The main concerns of content management are:
- Content access
- Content push
- Content security
Content management solutions can typically enforce an organization’s authentication policies as well as integrate with other enterprise tools. Once again, content management, much like information management, is typically part of app and device management services. However, it is possible for organizations to only be using a content management system.
This is an enterprise mobility solution that is aimed at helping organizations control and track their costs. This is valuable when your organization is providing employees with mobile devices or providing stipends for employees who use their own devices.
If your organization is providing mobile devices, this will give you oversight into how the mobile service and device is being used. This information can aid the organization in procurement efforts and crafting mobile device policies.
The Importance of Enterprise Mobility Solutions
Modern business relies on the advantages mobility provides in order to stay agile and competitive. However, one of the biggest concerns many organizations have is security.
Enterprise mobility solutions are a very broad collection of different services that aid in increasing an employee’s mobility while protecting an organization’s data and processes.
With a topic that can be as expansive and broad as enterprise mobility solutions, finding the right solution for your organization can feel like a real challenge. If you need help finding or even designing a mobility solution that meets all of your needs, speak with an app development partner. They can give you sound advice and direction based on industry experience and technical expertise.