Enterprise Mobility Defined

By Sudarshana Banerjee
Updated: May 16, 2012

Enterprise Mobility Defined

Five market changes that affect your mobility plans:

  1. Increasingly more and more people are using smartphones and tablets.
  2. Advances in mobile broadband and the proliferation of 4G is making it possible to run bandwidth-intensive enterprise apps on mobile devices.
  3. Mobile business applications are now available straight out of the box, and can be deployed easily with tailored customizations.
  4. More and more applications are becoming device and operating system-agnostic. Cloud computing advances is making it possible to start developing solution stacks from anything like analytics to software that can run on any device, on any platform, either as an app or via mobile browser-based access.
  5. Enterprises are not really sure how to deal with all this mobility.

Mobility across the enterprise, or enterprise mobility, is, to put it simply, integrating mobile devices of all shapes, sizes, and operating systems into the way you do business. Because of these market changes, it makes good business sense to have an enterprise mobility management strategy and, understand what some of the bottlenecks are.

There are some verticals and some horizontals that lend themselves more readily to mobility. CRM is one such, and all the leading CRM vendors offer a mobile flavor of their apps. Insurance is another area where the very nature of business lends itself to mobility.

First, let’s take a look at some of the business imperatives that explain why we have to deploy enterprise mobility solutions. To begin with, employees are going to be bringing their own smartphones/mobile devices and using them for work anyway. Even if they cannot access corporate email yet on these devices, they will be using them for work at work or home. They may want to search work related information. They may want to edit a spreadsheet; and so on and so forth. If we ask employees to not use their personal devices for work, we risk a backlash of employee discontent, which in turn may affect productivity.

An entire generation of users are growing up with access to mobile devices as a given. Sooner or later they will be joining the workforce. If we cannot offer them the same comfort level with mobile devices at work, as they have been used to personally, they may simply join the next company, or at the very least, be extremely dissatisfied. We have to accommodate them. On the demand side, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders are going to want the agility and flexibility that mobile devices are able to bring to the table.

The Plusses of Enterprise Mobility

There is a reason why enterprise mobility is taking off. Mobile devices afford increased productivity in more ways than one. We can work more flexibly and we can have readily available access to real time data. If we are inputting field information (say, sales data) then we are minimizing the window of error, because the data entry is happening on the spot.

Today’s mobile devices come equipped with sophisticated cameras, location-tracking and software development kits. This makes it easy for us to build or customize apps exploiting these native device capacities. Tablets can be used as virtual private network (VPN)-enabled clients to server applications and database; so we can access a database knowledge repository while on the go.

Last but not the least, if we are open to a bring-your-own-device to work (BYOD) policy, we can bypass the upfront capital expenditure, software licensing, and subsequent maintenance costs or inventory tracking, that we would have had to incur on these devices.


Security is a huge challenge, though by no means an impossible challenge. While it is true that mobile devices are easily lost or stolen, if we factor that in, then we can be prepared to manage or mitigate the risk. For example, we can enable remote wipe-off of data in the event of a theft. We can also have a sandbox that will segregate enterprise data from personal data, quarantining business-critical data from the likes of readily-accessible vacation pictures.

While it is true that we will be saving huge upfront costs, enterprise mobility will not be a free lunch either. We will need to make an initial investment to upgrade our IT infrastructure, so that it can withstand the onslaught of multiple accesses via multiple devices dispersed all over the place. We need to figure out access control; which devices get access to what data, and expense management and billing issues. We also need to figure out a way to distribute software updates and patches to a variety of non-standard devices.

Related Categories
Featured Research
  • On-Demand Webinar - Smarter@Sales Operations: Automation to Maximize the Buyer’s...

    This on-demand webinar looks at what best-in-class companies are doing in terms of sales enablement to ensure that the buyer’s journey through the sales operations process is efficient and more satisfying for the buyer, so that the seller can in turn close deals more often and more efficiently. Download the on-demand webinar to learn how you can help your sales operations function perform more effectively in 2013 and beyond. more

  • Texting. Smartphones. Tablets. Oh my! Business Communications in a Mobile World

    Today, people communicate for work anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Even with undeniable business behavior changes, the vast majority of companies haven’t optimized their communications infrastructure for mobile workforces or BYOD. Join this webinar on June 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time to get ahead of the pack and learn the benefits of a cloud communications solution that supports the new world of work. more

  • Mobile Workforce Management: 7 Key Benefits for Growing Companies

    This white paper from ClickSoftware will take a brief look at current trends and the real business benefits behind adopting a software solution for the automation and management of the mobile workforce. more

  • The New Mobile World: Changing the Way You’ll Service Your Customers

    On-Demand Webinar Join us for this no-cost web event where you’ll get an extensive look at how companies can take advantage of the mobile revolution to deliver improved and expanded service experiences for their customers, both inside and outside the contact center. more