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Mobility: Smarter, Faster and Closer, and Safer

Smart devices are increasingly becoming indispensible, especially in the enterprise environment. According to a recent report by Gartner, mobile applications are fast overtaking enterprise applications, so a largely mobile workforce with grey areas between professional and personal workspace, is the biggest reason to have a mobile strategy in place, for every company.

A clearly defined strategy for mobility not only lays down the round rules but also leverages the advantages of mobile technologies to create an inclusive work culture for the enterprise. The next step is BYOD which grants employees freedom to work on their personal devices allowing the freedom of flexibility, increased collaboration and productivity and a better work life balance to them. Enterprise IT needs to encourage the productivity advantage that mobility assures, without being restrictive, while having the policies to monitor and control in place.

Most enterprises have policies and strategies to deal with the risks that BYOD brings. The current trends in technologies and tools ensure an increasingly higher level of support to leverage the advantages of mobility while fighting the risks it entails:

  • While in most organisations MDM tools, endpoint security and device management are used to ensure a secured environment for BYOD, their inconsistent implementation across disparate mobile platforms may create breach- able loopholes. This is one trend that enterprises need to collaborate with users as well as business managers to create strategies that neither restrict nor negate freedom, but ensure data security.
  • Most enterprises deploy WLANS that are utilised for both enterprise and personal devices, and these may already be overburdened with bandwidth or performance issues. Adding personal devices to them can only lead to more congestion, hence inefficiencies, if no extra network capacity or bandwidth is added.
  • Access management is highlighted in terms of relevance of resources that are authenticated a users. An adaptive access control that adds contextual information like location to the user identity is increasingly being used for identity assurance and reducing ID risk. But this has some inherent risks of privacy as well.
  • Isolating corporate applications on a personal device is one way of creating boundaries, or what is referred to as secure workspaces. So while essential business applications like email is allowed, access to more critical corporate data is not.
  • Mobile devices security is the next focus, and CISOs need to define stronger strategies on application configuration and mobile testing. New technologies like applications sandboxing and digital signing are on the anvil, while contextual identification may create the much needed walls to user access.

It is inevitable that mobile technologies will become the centre stay of enterprise over time. Devices are only growing and as Gartner predicts, through 2014, more focus will be given to developing better UI than enterprise applications. This trend cannot be reversed so enterprises need to keep up with technologies that will make this new disruption advantageous for everyone, the users as well as the enterprises.

Raghuram Nair

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