How to implement mobility management for your workplace

Progressive companies are taking steps to manage the use of mobile devices, regardless of whether they are company or employee owned.

A mobility management policy helps to reduce the risks, because it guides your employees in their use of mobile devices for performing their duties.

Smart Business spoke with Stephan J. Cico, managing director of All Covered Pittsburgh, about how to implement these kinds of programs. (This is the second in a two-part series on mobility management.)

What needs to be considered when setting your mobility management strategy?

Adoption of mobility management strategy, policies and processes no longer has to be over-complicated. A mobility management platform provides three keys your company needs to manage an unpredictable array of devices connecting regularly to your network — user access, security and automated policy enforcement. To manage all three, however, you need to define the mobility needs of your business operation.

First, take time to understand where your company is now and where it needs to get to in terms of network infrastructure and its ability to support a BYOD setup. Your strategy will define your objectives. A gap analysis will determine your current capabilities and the improvements needed to support a multitude of connected devices.

Once you have infrastructure plans, it’s time to move on to security and how you will protect your data. In fact, your security strategy should ideally encompass more than just keeping out the hackers. It should also consider:

  • Is your data protected against malware, corruption and loss?
  • Do you have a robust network that can maintain productivity in the event of a system failure?
  • Are you able to preserve your business reputation in the event of a security breach?

With plans in place to keep out unwanted visitors, it’s time to consider the visitors you do want — your employees and business partners. Begin by asking:

  • How will you segregate internal applications and data from your employees’ personal apps and usage?
  • Who needs mobile access and what do they need to access?
  • How will you define user profiles for those whom you grant mobile access?
  • What permissions and privileges do you need to provide and maintain control of?
  • What devices and operating systems do you need to support?
  • What integrations do you require?
  • How will you engage users in the need to have control over their devices?

How can companies support their mobility management strategy?

When selecting a mobility management solution that best suits your company’s individual needs, it should have mobile device management, app management and mobile content management.

Mobile device management simplifies the control of all mobile devices used to access your business IT solutions. It allows you to manage devices from a single console through features like AD/LDAP integration; simple, consistent device enrollment flow; custom device profiles; continuous monitoring for compliance threats; easy-to-understand dashboards and a central portal for fast access to information; device messaging and commands; and advanced reporting from within the console or via file export to business intelligence solutions.

Controlling connected devices is only part of the challenge. With millions of available apps and malware threats growing at an alarming rate, your data is at risk without effective app management. App wrapping is one way to secure the apps you use in your business. It adds a layer of security and works with the mobile device management console to isolate your business apps from device users’ personal software. App management also lets you control which apps are downloaded, or can push apps automatically to enrolled devices.

A comprehensive mobility management solution should address the content your employees can access, store and distribute via mobile device. An effective mobile content management feature locks corporate content away from security threats, while allowing your workforce the access they need to work collaboratively using software, such as Microsoft Office and iWork.

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