How the channel can exploit the surging demand for mobility in 2018?

by April 4, 2018 0 comments

Authored By: Richard McLeod, Global Vice President of Enterprise Software Channels, BlackBerry

As a prime focus of IT investments in 2017, enterprise mobility will remain high on the agenda for businesses in 2018. With most organisations citing mobility as a top priority, the role of the channel becomes ever more important in providing tailored solutions capable of boosting productivity and changing business requirements.

The rise of mobile and IT in the channel

The changes in the mobile and IT landscape in the past few years have had more than a significant impact on the channel. The mass proliferation of smartphones and tablets has impacted how IT management provides services to an organisation. The channel is increasingly finding itself consulting with clients on security for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes or cloud services, something which has largely been an IT conversation up until today.

At a time when the channel is only just getting used to that new norm, the ‘Internet of Things’ is now introducing a whole new range of security and management headaches. Now, companies need to think about all those other connected endpoints, seemingly helpful devices that could expose their organisation, such as wearable technology, vehicles, sensors, and meters.

This is, in fact, the new norm, and the channel now needs to take a more holistic approach. This means having conversations with different lines of business such as sales, marketing, finance and HR, which are then integrated through IT.

What’s driving the adoption of mobility?

Today’s workforce, whether in an office or on a factory floor, expects that using enterprise technology and apps will provide the same experience as when using consumer technologies in their everyday lives. They want to perform their daily tasks and collaborate with partners and clients without having to worry about where they are working from, or indeed, what type of device, application or operating system (OS) they are using.

Organisations need to provide productivity tools across all devices and applications, whether it is file-sharing solutions, instant messaging apps, Microsoft Office 365 suites, or cloud-based ERP, HR and CRM solutions. Consequently, the need for end-to-end enterprise mobility solutions has exploded in recent years, and will continue to grow as we see more enterprise-connected devices enter the workplace.

In today’s digital world, professionals want to be able to use the devices, apps and OS of their choice to perform specific tasks. If their employer doesn’t allow them to be flexible, they will often find ways to bypass this restriction by using apps that are either unsecure or not designed for professional use. This is one of the main reasons why having a strong mobility strategy, which is both secure and user-friendly, is becoming top of mind for many IT and business decision-makers.

Data security and mobility are high on the agenda

In a physical world connected by billions of endpoints, even a single unprotected node can put an entire network of devices and the associated data in jeopardy. It’s therefore essential that organisations are embedding cyber security at the heart of their mobility strategies.

Firstly, organisations should be doing everything they can to securely mobilise their existing enterprise apps. There are tools available on the market that provide an advanced and tested container solution for mobile apps. They are also designed to eliminate the risk of data leakage by delivering proven security at the app level. The right tools enable businesses to use a wide range of mobile apps securely, and ensures key systems can be safely extended to new mobile use cases, thereby providing peace of mind to business owners.

Secondly, as the IoT market grows, businesses will need to invest in device and OS-agnostic platforms so that collaboration and security can be maximised across the entire business ecosystem.

This will give organisations the opportunity to take full advantage of the new type of connected devices and business apps that are yet to enter the market, and will likely offer new ways of collaborating and solving business-cases.

Finally, data encryption is an absolute must-have. Gone are the days where digital assets were contained within the organisations’ walls. You can have a state-of-the-art firewall system in place, but once the data travels out of your walls – or your system is hacked – this protection is useless. Data encryption means that even if a cyber-attack were to occur from an insider source, a ransomware attack or just negligence – the data would be unusable.

The market five years from now?

IoT has the potential to revolutionise the way businesses and industries operate, helping to improve productivity and efficiencies – but for the technology to be successful, security is needed.

CIOs, CSOs and heads of IT departments will need to address these security challenges and collaborate with key business stakeholders to build strategies that not only protect the devices, but also the data, both inside and outside of the organisations’ walls.

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