3 Advantages of Enterprise Mobility Management for SMBs
Nomenclature, or “the devising or choosing of names for things,” is an interesting practice in the cloud world. Most often the industry strives to develop terminology that helps explain what technology does, such as “Virtualized desktop infrastructure” or “Desktop-as-a-service,” but there are instances in which the naming of an IT solution may not always reflect the full application capabilities.
“Enterprise Mobility Management” (EMM) is a perfect example of this. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) might see the name of this solution and believe it is an offering exclusively intended to serve large organizations; however EMM can enable mobility across businesses of all sizes.
TechTarget’s SearchMobileComputing defines EMM as an “all-encompassing approach to securing and enabling employee use of smartphones and tablets. In addition to addressing security concerns, a strong EMM strategy also helps employees be more productive by providing them with the tools they need to perform work-related tasks on mobile devices.” With the exception of the actual solution name, there is nothing here that precludes SMBs from reaping the benefits of a well-implemented mobility strategy.
The SMB workforce has already begun to mobilize itself and support employees working remotely with a recent SpiceWorks survey finding 54 percent of SMBs support employee-owned smartphones and 42 percent support tablets through Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiatives. As a result, businesses are required to provide employees with anytime/anywhere access to company resources and services.
Although a company may be an SMB in terms of the number of people it employs, it certainly can (and should) adopt “enterprise-grade” IT solutions to gain an edge over competitors. Implementing EMM within an SMB-sized company can offer three distinct advantages in the areas of Security, Productivity, and Cost.
Implementing EMM within an SMB-sized company can offer three distinct advantages in the areas of Security, Productivity, and Cost.
Businesses of all sizes regularly exchange sensitive sales information, client lists, accounting data and more and this information often leaves the confines of the office via employee devices. While BYOD is a great benefit for employees, when not properly managed, it can potentially give unauthorized personnel accessibility to data in the event a device is lost or stolen, as well as leave the data at risk of infection by mobile malware. An EMM solution goes beyond merely authorizing a list of devices – it makes a single mobile device an aggregator of resources, applications, data, and capabilities – all with oversight and control. SMB’s can benefit from EMM features such as separation of work and personal apps/data, the availability of secure communications via a VPN, and remote wipe capabilities to safeguard data by removing information from a compromised mobile device.
Enterprises have historically driven innovation in technology adoption; however in recent years, consumers of technology have become the driving force for IT advancements to meet the demand for anytime/anywhere access, the increased use of video communication, and the adoption of collaboration tools. According to a 2014 IDG study, organizations implementing technologies, such as EMM to support a mobile infrastructure, reported increased productivity (50 percent) and increased employee morale (39 percent). EMM’s role in improving productivity not only impacts the employee, but also IT in how they manage and maintain the supporting infrastructure. Self-service app stores, remote provisioning, policy-driven configuration, and remote wiping are just some of the EMM capabilities that make management of mobile devices far less time-consuming for the often small IT departments within SMBs.
As with the introduction of any new solution, EMM comes with both tangible and intangible costs, including the purchase price, professional services, implementation, IT/user training, and more. It’s important for organizations to review the short-term and long-term cost savings when considering EMM. While there may be additional upfront costs to establish the solution, the productivity and efficiency gains – which can be tied to actual value if you apply an average hourly cost for an employee – are overwhelmingly positive. According to IDC, 67 percent of companies indicate that they achieved a positive ROI (with 16 percent of them even reporting revenue growth) as a result of implementing technologies such as EMM to support their mobile infrastructure.
Across all industries, organizations of all sizes are going mobile and it is becoming increasingly important to retain control, maintain security, and keep employees happy and productive without incurring additional costs. Choosing EMM to manage mobile devices, along with their configurations, security, applications, and content, can allow enterprises and SMBs alike to embrace the mobile trend and fully take advantage of its many business benefits.
Interested in gaining the Enterprise Mobility Management advantage? Learn more in this Navisite white paper, Enterprise Mobility Management and the SMB: Gaining the Advantage.