Questions for CIOs & IT managers: Do you like your MDM or EMM solution? Do your executives and average employees like it? Or do they feel as if the solution you've deployed limits their choices, or makes day-to-day productivity harder?
According to Michael DiSabato, a research vice president at Gartner, for many IT departments, there is a big gap between IT satisfaction over an enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution and the way the solution is viewed by those who "work around it" every day.
DiSabato told Computerworld, "The number of companies we work with who say the CEO doesn't like the MDM they deployed is in the high 300s out of over 500 clients."
Jared Hansen, CEO and founder of secure mobile printing leader Breezy, wasn't surprised. "User experience is the most important part of selecting the right EMM solution for your company. If users feel that the solution IT selects is too limiting, too hard to work with, or lacks key features like an easy way to print from their mobile devices, they will find ways to get their tasks done faster even if that means ignoring or violating policies."
When it comes to selecting an EMM solution, it's easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Different companies have different needs, and picking the right solution for your business is often a matter of identifying the most important business needs, then balancing security and privacy. Here are five tips from industry experts on how to choose the best solution for your company.
What do you need today to keep the mobile devices, data, applications, and network resources your company relies on safe and secure" Policy controls are a given, says Hansen. "You have to have a way to manage, monitor, and enforce your mobile device policies. But what else do you need" What your company needs is likely different than what my company needs " it's all about the use case you build before you deploy your EMM solution."
Instead of looking for a specific feature set, look for the feature set that meets your needs, he says. "I don't think there's a list of features that's essential for every company. What business tasks do your employees need to perform from mobile devices" Start there, and decide what tools and features are required to protect and manage those tasks."
One key business task that can't be stressed, he says, is global travel. "If your employees travel abroad, a feature like geo-fencing could be all important to stay within the compliance rules of each country's privacy regulations. But if your company works exclusively within one country, it can be an unnecessary feature," Hansen points out.
Another vital question is whether the EMM suite you're considering expandable enough to support other wireless endpoint devices, such as printers, scanners, smart watches and other devices that are connected to your network. "Five years ago, a mobile device management solution had to cover BlackBerry, Symbian, and WebOS, as well as iOS and Android " but no one thought about smart watches, fitness trackers and the other Internet of Things (IOT) devices that are finding their way into the enterprise," he points out.
You don't need a crystal ball, but you do need a solutions provider who is looking toward the future and is committed to supporting new devices as they enter your workforce. Gartner predicts that 70 percent of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018. Thus, your strategy should be flexible enough to account for new devices that employees will bring into the workplace.
It's also important to understand how your EMM solution will affect the people who use it. That starts with a clear understanding of just who is affected. Does your workforce include only full-time, permanent employees" Or do contractors, temporary workers, business partners, and even customers need the ability to connect their mobile devices to your network"
"Training is critical with many EMM solutions," Hansen says. "But how much training " and how will you handle the needs of guests and temporary workers or contractors" The solution you deploy has to be simple for end users, or it can become a help desk nightmare. Worse, it can become a productivity bottleneck that wastes time " something no company can really afford."
Ease of use starts with your list of business requirements. Do you need high-level device control, such as disabling native features, or more granular controls, such as being able to compartmentalize corporate data" If the EMM solution you're looking at has a lot of features you don't need, make sure they can be turned off so you're not bogged down. And don't forget that the policies required for a smartphone will be different than those applied to a laptop, while tablets pose their own challenges.
When it comes to making things easier for your IT administrators, all EMM solutions aren't created equal. For example, every product offers some kind of a dashboard that lets you monitor what's going on across your mobile fleet. But how good is that dashboard at giving you insight into the areas you think are most critical? How interactive and intuitive is the interface, and how can you customize the view to meet your needs?
Don't forget to consider how much time it takes to deploy and set up your security tools, Hansen says. "Breezy's cloud or on-premise printing solution can turn any existing printer fleets into a secure, mobile-ready network in minutes," Hansen says. "We worked closely with all of the top EMM providers to make sure that we're pre-integrated, so there's no additional administrative burden. It's definitely something to consider when you're evaluating your options."
More than 60% of employees in one CIO survey say that it's OK to transfer work documents to personal devices or online file-sharing apps. Given that, it's no wonder many companies are deploying more company-owned-personally-enabled (COPE) devices in an attempt to gain greater control of mobile devices without trampling on employee privacy.
Hansen, who was a corporate attorney before founding his secure mobile printing company, notes that litigation around personal data privacy is on the rise. Just as importantly, many employees are simply not prepared to have their personal devices invaded by the IT department.
"Employee resistance to remote device wiping is growing. It's imperative to strike the right balance between security and privacy. Look for EMM products that can separate corporate and personal data," he says.
"Breezy uses on-device encryption to protect the information printed through our app, whether those files are someone's personal property or company data. How does the EMM solution you're considering separate personal and company data so that both are protected?"
"The only thing that matters is the user experience," says Gartner's DiSabato. Over half of the employees in a recent survey from Aruba said that they would violate policies or directly disobey their boss if they felt that a policy or security solution would make it harder to accomplish a task.
One of the most common myths about mobile devices is that the move to mobile will somehow equal a way for companies to save money on paper and printing costs. "It just isn't true," Hansen says. "All the data shows that the move to mobile devices is actually driving a rise in printing."
In 2011, Breezy became the industry's first printer-agnostic secure mobile printing solution that met compliance standards and enabled secure printing from any mobile device, over a secure partner network of public printers or a company's printer fleet. This achieved two vital goals:
"Mobile device users need reliable wireless printing," Hansen says. "And companies need to be able to provide access to wireless printing without taking on a printer driver nightmare or giving hackers an open door to company data. That's what Breezy does: we close the gaps to deliver easy-to-use, easy-to-manage, secure mobile printing."
Information Week reports that mobile accounts for just 5% of the average business's IT spending today. By 2020 it's predicted to reach 10-12% of the total budget. As a result, the enterprise mobility industry will be worth a whopping $140 billion, according to a report from the National Association of Software and Services Companies.
As the percentage of your budget devoted to mobile expands, so will the scrutiny aimed at reports and ROI. "So plan now for a solution that gives you more than a real-time dashboard to monitor the current situation," Hansen says. "Look for one that provides the tracking and reporting you will need in the future."
He suggests that one thing to consider is what happens when mobile stops being a separate silo within IT and becomes a core part of IT. "Can the solution you are considering provide reports that are integrated with other kinds of reports? Will you be able to get the data management wants? Managements wants a single view or a unified management layer " and it's also easier for the end user if they have one self-service place to go for all of their endpoint devices," Hansen says.
Breezy delivers device and operating system agnostic secure mobile printing with on-device encryption for smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS operating systems. Breezy adds an extra layer of protection to the mobile devices that connect to your network or store your data. For more information on mobile device security and secure mobile printing, watch this video from Breezy, download The Definitive Guide to Mobile Printing, a free ebook, or click here to schedule a Breezy demo now.
Customers report that Breezy installations are among the easiest they’ve ever seen for an enterprise product.