Mobilize? Bring your own Device!

Bye bye, corporate phone!

2011 was the first year where the sale of electronic devices like smartphones and tablets beat the number of PC´s sold. It is a byod (1)completely logic effect regarding to the improvements in functionality. Many of these devices now have functionality that is equal to the laptop or home computer of only a few years ago. In particular businesses benefit from mobile devices that provide access to email, calendars and business documents as well as the possibility of flexible working arrangements.

When I worked at Rohde&Schwarz International Operations the company provided it´s employees with all the required tools and equipment that they need to perform their jobs; this has been true for large organizations. But for smaller enterprises that do not have the money to provide their people with everything, the employees bring their own tools to work. And this strategy has a name: Bring Your Own Device Model or simply BOYD Model.

Advantages of BOYD

When employees bring their own devices, they can work more comfortably and the employer saves on hardware costs and maintenance while the data security issue is handled by the cloud application. Since Julia wrote about Cloud Computing in her last blog I don´t need to explain that term again. Cloud Computing’s role is one of security. Services like desktop hosting allow the entire desktop environment of your office pc to run on any device with a big enough screen and internet connectivity. Even if employees use their own devices for work, the employer is able to control which applications and what data are accessible and where, preventing it to be even saved locally, only on the cloud desktop environment.

The personal devices afford employees more freedom because they can work at home and at the office. Regarding to Peter Silva in his series on BYOD policies for SYS-CON Media using their preferred device makes employees happier and therefore more productive. He goes on to say that

“80% of Americans work an extra 30 hours a month on their own time with BYOD,”

citing research from Good Technology.

In the first moment all that sounds like a win-win situation for me. But…

BOYD – Bring your own disaster?

Let´s take a look at the other side of the coin. Bensonoff Kirill mentions the so-called, Blackberry addiction in his blog. It means that workers are permanently available and in touch with their work. The problems which are coming along with that were already dealt with in my former blog “The Manager you have called is temporary not available!”

PrivacyThe informtion law group cites the “creep-out factor”. It means that most employees are afraid of an invasion into their privacy. The computer they use for work will also be the same computer they surf the web or use to sign up into Facebook and Twitter. Employees are suspicious towards their company of being able to “spy” on them and have access to their personal passwords, websites and data.

Data SecurityThis is the biggest point which should be considered when implementing BYOD model. Refering to Gartner, letting employees use their own devices for work purposes can lead to pertinent company data being visible. The problem IT departements are encountering is trying to find the best method to allow users to access all data necessary while keeping that data safe and secure. Since BYOD is a relatively new concept for organizations, there isn’t a “best policy or practice” for organizational data security.  Organizations are beginning to establish guidelines and policies to better manage BYOD security, but determining which is best for the organization may lead to unexpected costs. According to Liam Keating, Intel’s IT country manager for China

“you encounter tricky scenarios where, let’s say, you have to confiscate a personal device, because it has been compromised and it needs to be examined forensically.”

Now, Intels workers need to sign an agreement about when they have had access to their e-mails, calendar etc.

Future of BOYD

We’ve all become dependent on connectivity and computation, turning us into tablet- and smartphone-toting cyborgs. How will this trend evolve in 2013? I got so much used to my mobile devices like my iPad or iPhone that I tried to open Mozilla Firefox by touching my work computer´s screen.

But experts are not unified if they are asked about their predictions for BOYD in 2013. Kenneth ‘Ken’ Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with over 15 years of experience who thinks that personal clouds such as Dropbox, iCloud or Google Drive will curb the BOYD hype. His resumee is, that

“Personal cloud services are convenient, inexpensive, always available, and on the brink of destroying the entire BYOD movement.”

Others declare the BOYD trend as to be full in swing. The same opinion shares Cesare Garlati, vice president of mobile security at Trend Micro even if he considers potential pitfalls.  Garlati puts it:

“There’s no point trying to stop this drive towards BYOD. Consumerization is unstoppable and BYOD brings real business value but a lack of a strategic approach can create security risks, financial exposure and a management nightmare for IT departments.”

BOYD was voted among the Top-Tech-Trends 2012 a couple of times by different rankings such as carouselconnect , petri, or by the bigfatfinanceblog.

BYODIn my opinion this trend will become increasingly popular in 2013. More and more, particularly small and middle-class firms will adopt this model to safe money. And with an increasing number of freelancer due to outsourcing, Enterprise Mobility is essential for companies to correspond with their on-road-employees. But not every phone works on every network abroad so it´s useful that every worker has his/her own device. Another point might be the growing technical knowledge of the next generation. We are facing an unbelievable variety of mobile devices therefore every individual has his/her own preferences regarding their mobile friends. With the BOYD Model they won´t be forced to work with a provider or brand that they absolutely don’t like.

The chart on the left shows that 71 percent of employers already allow personal devices in the office. That´s a big percentage with increasing tendency!

2013 will give us the final answer, I am curious!

Advertisements

Living in the clouds- new technology trends 2013

Following Mr. B’s Advice to have a look at the latest technology trends for 2013, I ended up on Daniel Burrus page.  He is CEO and founder of Burrus Research Associates and sees himself as Keynote Speaker, Business Strategist and Global Futurist.Talking about technology trends he mentions amongst others “Cloud Computing and Advanced Cloud Services”.

“(Cloud Computing and Advanced Cloud Services) will be increasingly embraced by business of all sizes, as this represents a major shift in how organizations obtain and maintain software, hardware, and computing capacity.”- Daniel Burru

Daniel Burru is not the only one, who sees Cloud Computing as the coming technology business trend. It-magazines like “Computerwoche”describe Cloud Computing as

“one of the current and most important trends in the Business IT”

What does Cloud Computing actually mean?

According to NIST (national institute of standards and technology), Cloud Computing is defined as the following:

“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.“

Cloud Computing

We all know clouds and their general advantages from private use. With help of iCloud or Google Drive we can easily store, manage and exchange our personal data like photos and music, either between our different mac products or from other computers.

What is the advantage of enterprise cloud computing?

Cloud Computing providers like IBM or amazon describe more flexibility, nearly unlimited scalability and lower costs as the main advantages of cloud computing.

Does cloud computing only have positive sides?

After various blogs and magazines: definitely not!

Spiegel online just warned in an article by Ole Reißmann of an observation of European businesses and private users through the U.S.

Susan Bard, a business writer and CEO of Cypress Technologies describes in her blog 5 disadvantages of Cloud Computing. Besides the security issues of data volume, she mentioned amongst other the reliability of your internet connection and the dependence of your cloud computing vendor as disadvantages.

If you want to know more about Cloud Computing and how it works in detail just click here for a German version and here for the English.

What do you think of Cloud Computing? Is it the future app to run your business?

Enterprise Mobility Solutions

When the first mobile phones were commercially introduced in the 1980s, they were only used in certain fixed locations outside the office, such as the car, on vacation or in emergency cases.

Today, it is almost impossible to find a business person who does not carry a mobile phone, moreover the phones have personal computer attributes like supporting email and web access.

Dynamic Business Environment

This expanded technology is giving firms a hard time controlling the company’s data and information as it is on nearly every EMSemployee’s mobile device. The main problem for today´s firms is to find the balance between keeping up with global distribution and securely managing the growing mobility. This is right where Enterprise Mobility Solutions come in. There are many providers such as AT&T, Vodafone or SAP that are offering platforms as a help for firms to better control its mobile devices. With todays movement to mobile and virtual workforces, proper communication tools are inevitable to simplify enterprise mobility. Enterprise Mobility Solutions mission is to bring progression to the mobile worker and also deliver key enrichment to the broader business process. User efficiency in business operations is the major factor for businesses that utilize industry-specific and customized applications. Enterprise Mobility solution providers comprehend the challenges and complexity involved in mobilizing employees and follow industry’s best practices to offer a strategic approach to mobility. The Enterprise Mobility Solutions can run on various mobile platforms including iPhones, iPads, Android, Symbian, BlackBerries and Windows.

“The debate is no longer around whether to enable a mobile workforce. It’s more about deciding which devices to support, who gets access to what, and how to develop the infrastructure that is needed to support these devices,” said Venu Reddy, Research Director, IDC India.

Tasks of an Enterprise Mobility Solution platform:

  • enforcing corporate security
  • complying with corporate policies
  • Strategic approach to mobility
  • Provides the complete visibility and constant enterprise access

More and more software firms try to jump on this bandwagon and offer mobile enterprise solutions. So does Wipro, the #1 leader in green electronics, which attracts it´s clients with solutions for various industries including health care, warehouse, retail, energy, natural resources, manufacturing, transportation and logistics.

Potential Pitfalls

This mobilization also presents inherent risks. In his blog “Device Advice”, written by chairman Spencer Green, he pointed out the security problem:

“Mobile technologies certainly raise different security challenges – wireless networks have different vulnerabilities than fixed networks, and mobile devices are more prone to loss and theft.”

Providing workers with sensitive data and apps running on a cloud-based infrastructure, anytime and anywhere, contains a high risk to lose those information to competitors. So, it is absolutely necessary to possess a good firewall.  Enterprise Mobility Solution providers also face the challenges of regaining control of their telecommunication cost, and manage mobile flexible working in the first place.

But how does a provider create the optimal customized application platform for its client?

First off, they are defining the enterprise`s mobile strategy with their client and trying to identify applications and systems that can be mobile enabled, the scope of mobilizing them and the business benefits that can be achieved. The next question is to clarify the mobile device strategy, which means to select the platform of choice for the Enterprise Mobility client. Last but not least, they must implement the mobile application, intergrating them smoothly with existing backend systems (exisiting corporate infrastructure systems that are used to run a company such as systems to manage orders, inventory and supply chains). Enabling backend features will be the most important challenge in the coming development of enterprise mobile applications according to Jose Rodriguez. If you want to read more about this topic check out his wonderful article “Democratizing Enterprise Mobility”!

Next week´s blog will introduce a new business model which seems to change companies operating methods, so stay tuned!

The Enterprise Mobility Revolution – Introduction

appstore_blogpostimage-resized-600My topic shifts now from availability to mobility. This means that I will treat everything which comes along with Enterprise Mobility the next weeks. This week I begin with a Introduction into that sphere. Enterprise Mobility , a word which became a hotshot in every big-company-managements vocabulary, top of mind for a lot of IT leaders at companies everywhere and means the trend toward a shift in work habits, with more employees working out of the office and using mobile devices and cloud services to perform business tasks. Your employees and customers are mobile, which means your business processes must also be mobile.

“Enterprise mobility is about giving the company itself (not just individuals within the company) the tools and technologies to do business anyplace, anytime, anywhere.” – Christopher Glenn, 2010

Check out this amazing video which is explaining Enterprise Mobility in an easy way.

Don´t confuse Enterprise Mobility with the term “mobility technology” because it is not only a mobile cell phone connection but moreover it includes wireless IP networks, managed services, cloud computing, and social media. All of these things play a role in enabling the anyplace, anytime, anywhere aspirations of a company.

AT&T Model

In september 2012, the American company AT&T outlined four distinct phases of enterprise mobility in an educational event. Visitor Maribel Lopez, elaborated on the 4 phases of Enterprise Mobility in her article which was published in September, 2012´s Forbes online magazine. The phases are:

  1. Informal.  No formal process is in place and most initiatives are personal efforts or based on requests from various executives.
  2. Silos. In phase two, different divisions plan and execute separate initiatives that may overlap.
  3. Coordinated. In this phase, enterprise standards exist but divisions are free to plan and execute their own initiatives, as long as the initiatives adhere to the company standard.
  4. Integrated. In the final phase, initiatives are based on a formal enterprise strategy and roadmap. Initiatives are planned, executed and monitored centrally.

The biggest problem about this enterprise mobility is the security aspect. Every employee, wherever he is, carries all the sensitive business data within his/her mobile office. Due to that many providers offer Enterprise Mobility Management solutions. I will introduce you them them in my next week´s blog! Thanks for reading!

hurdling barriers to enterprise mobility