A mobile strategy is way more than managing any mobile devices that employees might bring with them into the corporate IT landscape. It must contain a plan with policies on how to secure the company's edge, enabling new, simpler ways of working with existing processes and applications.
We have often experienced that corporations are struggling with multiple items when they are "mobilizing" their IT, enabling users to access certain processes from new types of devices, such as smart phones and tablets. Most discussed items in an early stage seem to be:
- Security. We need to control who can access what from where and we must ensure that data or documents are shared according to company policies. Integration with any services provided by third parties outside of the company's own IT, e.g. SaaS vendors and data storage locations often play a major role in mobile strategies as well, difusing the border between a cloud and mobile strategy. To hard-wire a border between the two is not helpful and potentially an over all arching strategy can be created, or plans and policies with clearly defined scope referencing each other where needed.
- Legal aspects. Depends on industry, national and international laws and regulations and last but not least what needs to be accessed, collaborated on from where and for how long. More than one good idea has been axed by legal constraints and it is important to understand what can and cannot be done while staying agile and ensuring that the company and its mobile projects can thrive.
- Auditing. We need to understand who used what where when, with usage frequency and IT related parameters. Not only SLA's and quality of delivery play a role, also compliancy might influence this.
- Usability, accessability, performance. Collaboration of mobile users in corporate processes will only bring a company real value if services provided are easy to use and are enjoyable in general. Here comes a big fail of many technically driven solutions where the user took the (last) back seat during the roll out.
I will continue on our collected experiences in helping corporations enabling their users to use important processes and applications while being out of office in an upcoming blog.