Why get started on enterprise mobility, identity, and apps?

If your company is in the ad hoc stage of mobility, what’s going to make you take the next step and invest in EMM, identity, or apps? Here are a few ideas.

[Note: This article is part of a series. Click here to get to other parts.]

Earlier this summer I wrote about the state of enterprise mobility adoption. I classified it in three different groups:

  • Some companies are adopting EMM for compliance reasons, or because their sheer size means dealing with mobile devices manually would be impossible.
  • Some companies have strategic app and device deployments. (This is the smallest group.)
  • Some companies are using mobility on an ad hoc basis. They likely don’t have EMM and they’re just using basic or free apps. (This is likely the largest group.)

Today I want to follow that up with another question: For companies that are in the ad hoc group, what will prompt them to take the next step and make investments in EMM, identity management, and/or building their own apps?

Here are a few potential reasons:

  • Many companies are rolling out identity management and EMM to support major SaaS adoption projects. Identity federation is vital for coordinating large numbers of users in cloud apps, and many SaaS apps come with mobile clients that companies may want to manage with EMM.
  • IT departments might want to roll out EMM just to make it easier to do basic configuration for things like WiFi, email accounts, VPNs, and app deployment. How many times do you want to do these tasks manually before you decide it would be easier to automate them with EMM?
  • Some companies that considered MDM when it was first emerging in 2010-2012 and decided to pass on it might be reconsidering it now that many aspects of EMM are much more mature than they used to be. Mobile OS MDM frameworks, EMM platforms, and attitudes towards BYOD and dual work and personal usage have all come a long way.
  • A company might have a new idea for a device or app strategy that they didn’t happen to think of in the past. It could be as simple as replacing a paper form with a mobile app. But remember, besides the fact that mobile devices are easier to carry around, they offer something that desktops (and especially older applications) don’t: simple and integrated access to more types of data, and new ways for users to interact with them. Think image sensors, push notifications, location data, multi-touch, motion processing, SMS and telephony, and so on. These can enable new apps and workflows that weren’t possible in the past.
  • It could be that previously, developing an in-house app was too complex or expensive, but now there are more options that put them in reach. These options include mobile app development platforms, app refactoring, rapid mobile app development tools, workflow apps, and backend as a service.
  • Huge enterprise software vendors like IBM, SAP, Oracle, and CA are offering many more mobile app options these days.
  • Most people acknowledge that the mobile device and cloud app era is coming eventually, so more companies might be deciding that now is the time to start getting ahead of it, and that EMM, identity, and apps are the way to do that.
  • Broader unified endpoint management and “workspace management” tools could be more attractive than standalone EMM and identity products.

The key with all of this is that there’s no one right way to get started on mobility. Besides this list, there are many more reasons to get started. If you have other reasons, let us know in the comments.

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