From inside the tech industry, we often tend to see trends and movements with rose-colored glasses. But enterprise customers typically approach technology with more caution, since they must weigh the possible benefits of their investments against its practical risks and disadvantages. Being able to address those risks and disadvantages can mean the difference between a sale and a fail. When it comes to enterprise mobility, then, what are the mobile workforce disadvantages, and how can they be mitigated?
Security concerns frequently top the list of objections enterprises have to mobility and BYOD initiatives, and for good reason. The larger number and greater diversity of devices used in a mobile or BYOD environment creates many new avenues for malware and viruses to infiltrate, and the nature of mobile operating systems themselves often open them up to attack, as does the often less-cautious behavior of a mobile user. And lost and stolen devices that contain or can access sensitive corporate data can lead to data breaches. The security concerns are real and can be serious mobile workforce disadvantages.
Another key enterprise concern when it comes to mobility and BYOD is the perceived loss of visibility into applications, device usage, data access, and user activity. In a tightly controlled environment based around corporate devices connected to the corporate network, it is comparatively easy for a well-organized IT department to view and monitor what's going on and what employees are doing. Organizations are often fearful of mobility and BYOD due to a perceived loss of visibility into device status and activities. The worries range from decreased productivity to data breaches caused by malicious insiders making off with sensitive information.
BYOD organizations in particular often count a lack of consistency across multiple mobile platforms to be another of the major mobile workforce disadvantages. The consumer mobile and handheld computing markets are diverse, with many different operating systems and many different versions of those operating systems in use. What works on iOS may not work on Android; what works on Android Jelly Bean may not work on Android KitKat, and so forth. How can a business know that all of its BYOD employees are able to access all of the necessary work documents and applications when they need them?
As you can see, there are real mobile workforce disadvantages. Luckily for enterprises and resellers, however, a number of excellent solutions exist to address these challenges.
A robust Mobile Device Management (MDM) or mobile workforce software solution will provide the necessary security controls, data protection, and visibility and monitoring capabilities needed for an enterprise IT department to remain in charge of even the largest BYOD rollout. The best in breed of these solutions are also designed to work with a large range of mobile operating systems and operating system versions, easing deployment across different devices. And with the cloud MDM deployments becoming increasingly common, organizations often don't even need to change their existing infrastructure to accommodate their new solutions.
What mobile workforce disadvantages do your customers worry about? Tell us your experiences in the comments.