One of the greatest paradigm shifts in modern business throughout the world has been the digital transformation of the workplace – and there is no better example than the rise of mobile and tablet devices in the workplace. Today, a smartphone is integral to just about every aspect of personal and business life.
And the blurring of lines between a business PC and mobile/tablet devices poses as many challenges as it does benefits.
And the growth in mobile workforce will continue to increase, by nearly 30% over the next 6 years, from 1.45 billion in 2016, to 1.87 billion in 2022, accounting for 42.5% of the global workforce.
No longer is a mobile device just for the on-the-road salesperson, but is now the norm for many office-based roles - from Management to HR and Accounts – we all seem to now work outside the traditional 9-to-5 hours!
So what are the Pros and Cons of outsourcing your Mobility Management Services?
Pressure on a stretched IT resource
So, with businesses’ need to improve competitiveness and increase productivity, plus an employee-appetite for flexible working practices, there is a demand for “on-tap” remote access to corporate data - placing additional pressure on IT to effectively create and manage an Enterprise mobility.
Gartner estimates that mobility poses one of the greatest challenges for already overstretched IT teams, as they struggle to keep pace with hundreds of new smartphones and tablets, face business demands for ever-more-sophisticated apps, and fight to secure corporate information on employee-owned devices - particularly with the introduction of GDPR.
Yet despite the challenges and complexity, a mobile-enabled workforce is a genuine opportunity for business innovation and a technology curve that organisations cannot afford to fall behind.
Should you outsource mobility management - or keep in-house?
Building in-house capabilities for enterprise mobility management (EMM) requires focused resources, processes, technologies and expertise. As enterprise mobility expands with new technologies, so too do the resources required to support it.
Enterprise mobility management will grow from $35.1 billion in 2016 to $73.3 billion by 2021.
The mobility management admin burden
There is also the argument that mobility management has somewhat haphazardly and quite possibly mistakenly fallen into the lap of the IT department.
Many mobility tasks are not really IT - ordering and provisioning devices, configuring smartphones, creating a BYOD policy, connection and mobile tariffs, replacing lost or stolen phones, managing data expenses, international roaming tariffs and re-provision devices from departing employees - and so on.
All have been lumped under the IT umbrella when we know the ultimate dilemma – so many IT projects… so little time.
The move towards outsourced Enterprise Mobility Services (MMS)
The increasing pressures on IT has led to a move to outsource mobility management – collectively categorised as Managed Mobility Services (MMS), whereby a third-party vendor takes on some or all of the mobile security and operational requirements to free-up resource and extend the expertise of your internal IT team.
Top 5 benefits of outsourced mobility management
1. Best practice knowledge, processes & technologies
An enterprise mobility setup is very different from a traditional desktop environment. Partnering with people who already have dedicated resource, skills and technologies will support the capabilities you are able to offer internally - and ultimately will deliver a better result.
Building in-depth knowledge of management tools, security requirements, mobile user policies, telecom expenses and more, requires a wide set of skills – making it difficult for an individual, or team to stay on top of this diversity.
2. A more efficient and focused IT team
Outsourcing mobility management enables your internal IT staff to work more effectively, focusing on core business activities and key strategic projects.
Operating as an extension of your IT department, an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Service Provider will take away the day-to-day operational burdens of mobile management, as well as the critical aspect of proactively monitoring your corporate network and securing remote data access.
3. Cost-efficiencies of scale and cost reduction
All but the largest enterprises would be hard-pressed to offer a 24x7x365 support team.
Specialist Managed Mobility Service Providers already have the people, processes and technologies in place to provide on-going management, user support, as well as the security operations.
As these providers already provide these services to other organisations, there is an efficiency of scale, meaning the cost of outsourcing is always less than performing these services in-house.
A better utilisation of internal resource, at a lower management cost per device.
A good MMS will also keep tabs on mobile data usage thresholds (to avoid the shock of large data expenses – which can quickly run into the £1,000's), as well negotiating and providing the best tariff and contract terms for your organisation.
4. Mobile security, data security and compliance
The hyper-connected, mobile-enabled enterprise is good for your competitive advantage and productivity. But as we’ve seen with the rise in cyber-attacks, enterprise mobility faces numerous challenges – in particular, with the introduction of GDPR, the need to secure corporate data and personally identifiable information (PII).
In addition to the threat of mobile malware, phishing attacks etc., the continued rise of BYOD means securing sensitive data on personal devices is of primary concern – requiring segmentation between personal and corporate data.
A Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform - like IBM’s leading MaaS360 platform is the primary tool required to effectively manage user devices.
A specialist Mobility Service Provider will have in-depth knowledge of MDM platforms, taken from experience across many enterprises and dedicated team members whose priority is to stay on top of security threats, as well as managing the platform on behalf of your Enterprise.
This, in itself, goes a long way to solving your IT team’s security headaches to ensure mobiles devices remain compatible with company security policies - on an on-going basis.
5. Keeping up with changing technologies
Agility is a hallmark of IT service providers – the rapid evolution of mobile technology creates innovation that can help drive competitive advantage.
Enterprises can speed up the adoption of these new technologies by adopting managed services and embrace technological change – rather than having to constantly acquire and invest in the development of necessary internal skills and resources.
Practically speaking, an MMS will also manage updates across mobile device management platforms, operating system updates, applications and upgrades to newer device hardware.
Ultimately, whether you outsource your Enterprise mobility management, or perform these activities in-house is dependent on several factors, including the business advantage versus the cost of diverting internal resource – as well as the calculated security risk and risk of data loss.
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About Comtact Ltd.
Comtact Ltd. is a government-approved Cyber Security and IT Managed Service Provider, supporting clients 24/7 from our ISO27001-accredited UK Security Operations Centre (SOC).
Located at the heart of a high security, controlled-access Tier 3 data centre, Comtact's state-of-the-art UK Cyber Defence Centre (SOC) targets, hunts & disrupts hacker behaviour, as part of a multi-layered security defence, to help secure some of the UK's leading organisations.