One of the most promising benefits of enterprise software is that it enables all employees to access the same data, regardless of their location or time zone. As more organizations implement this technology, workplaces are becoming increasingly dispersed and increasingly mobile.

Mobile apps are getting smarter and sleeker, but maintaining business connectivity while keeping speeds high, operations resilient, and data secure is no easy feat. The challenges of implementing enterprise mobility are real, so today, we’re detailing common risks and sharing how to avoid them. 

The Future is Now: The Rise of the Mobile Workforce

According to one report on workplace trends through 2025, nearly half of all organizations (47%) plan to allow their employees to continue working remotely on a full-time basis. Additionally, 82% plan to establish a work-from-anywhere setup at least part of the time. 

We’ve been making progress toward this scenario for a while, but the recent pandemic accelerated the pace. Increasingly, employers are realizing that remote work can boost performance and productivity, while lowering operational costs and surging support capacities.

However, it isn’t as easy as setting up an app and running with it. Enterprise mobility management (EMM) is an advanced IT initiative that can expose organizations to significant risk if mishandled. 

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Core Challenges of Implementing Enterprise Mobility

Put simply, enterprise mobility is the process of enabling employees to use their various smart devices to perform work in a business context.

Managing these devices is a serious undertaking. First, IT leaders must develop the right applications to make this work possible. Then, they must establish adequate infrastructure across disparate locations and make sure it conforms to regional regulations. Meanwhile, they’re tasked with ensuring data access is quick and secure to minimize downtime.

For an organization to benefit from EMM, it must understand the associated challenges. Let’s look at a few of the most common ones and how to address them.

1. Data Security

Any time a company develops an enterprise mobile app solution, data security is always top of mind. From malware to breaches, there are many risks associated with sharing data over long distances. 

One way to strengthen security is to ensure device protection via exchange mechanisms and robust data storage protocols. This can protect devices when they’re lost or stolen — two instances that can amplify the odds of a data breach. 

2. Complex App Development

While many ERP vendors provide mobile apps, not all types of software vendors provide this functionality. Thus, the need for app development.

Functional apps aren’t born overnight. They require work by advanced developers. Coding, testing, and launching an app is an intricate effort that can preoccupy some of your best IT talent.

One solution is to hire a company specializing in Android and iPhone app development. Not only can they relieve your internal burden, but they also can ensure the app incorporates key parts of each operating system, including security permissions. 

3. User Experience Issues

Build it and they will come, right? Not always. A business mobile app can be confusing to operate, especially for employees and clients who don’t have experience in this realm.

This is where great design becomes essential. The best apps are user-friendly and intuitive to navigate. They also are responsive and able to integrate seamlessly with common operating systems. 

4. Integration With Enterprise Systems

A mobile app is only usable if it can “speak” to the enterprise software deployed at your organization. 

To create a truly connected workforce, all your devices should be able to exchange data with one another. If not, then all the information contained on that device is essentially siloed.

A systems integrator can help you synchronize your mobile apps with your internal systems to keep them updated and accurate. An enterprise software consultant can provide project management and oversight of this effort. 

3 Tips for Overcoming EMM Challenges

1. Initiate Mobility Policies

Mobility policies do more than just regulate how your employees use their devices. They also ensure that any data that’s exchanged among them is highly secure. 

However, this type of transparency applies to the entire device. As such, employees may worry that some of their personal data will also be viewable by their superiors.

This is where Mobile Device Management (MDM) comes in. In short, MDM focuses on making sure devices are secure and suitable, while putting steps in place to protect user privacy and ensure flexibility.

If issues arise around routine MDM updates or employee progress, IT stakeholders can work with app developers to create MDM solutions that are easy to upgrade as required. 

2. Choose a Security Solution

In companies with enterprise mobility, data security is always top of mind, and for good reason. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of companies offering dynamic security solutions specifically for this space. 

Consider building an infrastructure that includes more than one layer of security policies and protocols. This can help prevent data breaches, keeping employees and their devices safe.

3. Keep a Long-Term Perspective

As you consider what an enterprise mobility solution might look like at your organization, don’t just think about the here and now. Rather, look ahead five or even ten years, and think about market trends and internal changes that may occur. 

Then, consider if you have the bandwidth to build an in-house Mobile Center of Excellence. This unit would combine some of your top talent from various departments. Everyone would come together to make decisions, define standards, and propel your digital strategy forward. 

Finding Success in Enterprise Mobility

Despite all the challenges of implementing enterprise mobility, this is one movement that’s here to stay.

If you’re thinking about investing in an EMM project at your own organization, our enterprise software consultants can help you keep risks low and performance high. Contact us below for a free consultation.

About the author

As Director of Panorama’s Expert Witness Practice, Bill oversees all expert witness engagements. In addition, he concurrently provides oversight on a number of ERP selection and implementation projects for manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, and public sector clients.

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