If enterprise mobility is a growing consideration, you’re in good company. Seventy-four percent of participants in the IBM 2011 CIO Study cited mobility solutions as the second “most important visionary plan element” behind business intelligence and analytics. And that reflected a 6 percent increase over last year’s study.
Chances are, mobile workers aren’t new to the mix in your organization. But the environment has changed rapidly, and you may be operating a mobility program that isn’t quite up to today’s challenges. You may have a program with limited users at either the task worker level or for executives with a single, corporate-issued smartphone. But you’re looking to roll out a broader program.
Let’s look at deployment from an end-to-end perspective, with the understanding that you might skip a few steps here and there depending on your situation. Or you might work with a services provider to manage the project.
First of all, be aware that the device itself is the least of your worries. The challenges in enterprise mobility come from the “hidden” costs and issues surrounding devices, such as end-user support, security, mobile applications and more. And more employees are bringing their own devices into the workplace.
As in any IT-driven project, you should have a proper assessment of both users and the environment, to develop a strategic plan and design. Consider these questions to start:
Mobile device procurement
Even with personally owned devices entering the workplace, you can still maintain control over enterprise device procurement—just do it differently. Self-service portals can allow users to choose from a catalog of pre-defined, pre-tested models—while you keep better track of order histories and pricing without daily involvement by procurement or IT. This helps smooth out global processes for greater consistency across your organization. And you might be able to leverage the buying power of a service partner.
Staging and kitting
“Dead-on-arrival” devices are productivity killers, but you don’t want your IT staff to spend valuable time coordinating packages and checking every device. Hand this over to a trusted partner to reconcile orders, test units and Gold images testing, bundle up the devices with accessories and instructions, and ship to users wherever they are.
Mobile device management
The key word: management. From asset tracking to pushing software application and configuration updates over the air, advanced mobile device management from an experienced provider can help enforce consistent security policies, provide more visibility through reporting and deliver end-user support. Your devices and your mobile employees stay more productive with a lessened burden on your IT staff.
When devices do break, you can get them offline and back on again more quickly when you’re working with a provider who can handle fixes quickly, returns to manufacturers, and remote provisioning.