Here’s how to integrate the benefits of enterprise mobility in an increasingly mobile world.
When Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007, followed by Google’s Android OS, enterprise mobility (EM) was born – though businesses didn’t quite know it yet. Soon, people, with the help of developers building enterprise apps, began finding ways to use their personal devices for work (sometimes without employer permission). The era of bringing your own device had arrived – along with new opportunities and benefits.
Maximizing the Benefits of Mobility
By letting employees use the mobile devices they already own, then ensuring the data that resides on the devices is secure and strategically managed, small and midsize businesses (SMBs) enjoy cost savings in terms of time spent deploying tech and device training. And by using a service provider (more on this later) that specializes in cross-platform mobile device management, the problem of multiple platform use – Android, iOS and Blackberry – is easily overcome.
Enterprise mobility can also improve communication between management and staff and enable workers to collaborate on specified projects when they work remotely or are in the field. Employees and managers can share real-time insights and reduce chances of miscommunications.
Critical information can also be accessed or uploaded from anywhere and at any time because EM gathers data in one secure place. This also helps save time spent on data entry and analysis. By consolidating business information electronically, the use of paper forms can be reduced, which can increase the accuracy of the data collected. EM also enables employees to upload forms, documents and orders with just one click, wherever they are. This also helps reduce entry errors and miscommunications that can cost time and money.
Making EM Affordable for SMBs
With larger budgets and robust IT resources, larger companies were the first to fully embrace enterprise mobility. Today, however, scalability can make EM a viable solution for small businesses, too. For instance, rather than breaking a budget to pay for in-house IT support, cloud management and mobile device management, an SMB can use a dedicated managed mobility services provider that can create a program and provide services specifically tailored to a business and provide services as needed. And by consolidating operating costs onto a single, point-of-service bill, money can be saved.
Next Steps for Business Owners
- Talk with your advisor about creating a budget for your EM investment. You can then share the budget with a chosen service provider and plan a staged implementation of services as you can afford them.
- To choose a provider, start with your own mobile service. Many have enterprise divisions with products and services geared for businesses like yours.
- Get referrals from other business owners you know. Firsthand knowledge and recommendations can be invaluable in the discovery process.