Enterprises today are growing increasingly dependent on the remote workforce, which brings mutual benefits to employer and employee—but also management challenges, security risks and productivity concerns.
As more businesses adopt and manage mobile technology to keep remote workers connected, telecom and IT managers will see major developments in four key areas of enterprise mobile management—bring your own device (BYOD), cloud services, advanced technologies, and cybersecurity—that create complementary benefits across most global industries.
Despite businesses cutting back on employee stipend programs, BYOD will continue to grow in popularity. Since smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices have become essential to getting work done, enterprises are finding it nearly impossible to keep employees from using them on the job—whether the company pays the bill or not.
In an environment where at least 70 percent of workers are remote part-time, managers and employees need access to corporate applications and data to be successful. That’s why many corporations are pivoting toward BYOD programs that provide more data access while also adding security. For example: today’s more advanced BYOD programs will allow employees to access corporate email on their smartphones—but only if their devices are up-to-date with the company’s latest security standards. And companies are increasingly locking employee-owned devices out of their internal networks as soon as they trigger a security alert.
To do this, many organisations are using external partners—managed mobility services (MMS) providers—to not only help set standards and conditions for a successful BYOD program, but to manage global telecom expenses as well. MMS providers can help enterprises keep track of BYOD devices and provide insight into management best practices. These partners can view real-time user behaviour to ensure BYOD program safety moving forward.
Due to growing mobile workforces and the desire for more flexible employee work environments, many organisations are moving to cloud-based applications to manage a wide variety of mobile devices and functions from one controlled environment. For many businesses, Microsoft Intune is an obvious choice. Not only are Microsoft products ubiquitous across the global enterprise environment, but Intune access is also included as part of the Microsoft Office 365 software licenses companies already pay for every year.
By using Intune to secure mobile devices, companies can provide users a gateway from which to access email and internal content within the Azure cloud. It also provides organisations with the ability to lock down an unsecured device or preconfigure devices so that they automatically connect to corporate Wi-Fi whenever users enter the office.
Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA) are moving beyond buzzwords and into the realm of practical use within MMS and telecom expense management (TEM). These innovations work together to create automated processes that will help workers drastically reduce errors and increase productivity. With AI and RPA, repetitive and time-intensive tasks like carrier billing and invoicing can be conducted with limited human interaction and reduced from an average of five days to one. Using automation, enterprises can deploy mobile devices in one day instead of four, new lines can be activated in four seconds instead of eight minutes, and MMS program implementation can be more than halved from 150 days to 60.
One of the biggest enterprise mobility management risks an organisation can face is a leak or a breach of proprietary data. That’s why many businesses are adopting and implementing multi-factor authentication to minimise risks and replace traditional password security measures, which many organisations view as no longer secure. Intune and other unified endpoint management (UEM) applications help businesses by detecting security violations and locking down—if not completely wiping —a device’s sensitive enterprise data in real-time (similar to how credit card companies flag suspicious activity and notify customers within minutes).
Another significant development coming soon to cybersecurity is the implementation of the WPA-3 encryption protocol in public Wi-Fi technologies and hotspots. Because vulnerabilities have recently emerged and been exploited in the 10-year-old WPA-2 protocol, businesses are rushing to adopt the Wi-Fi Alliance’s upgraded 192-bit security format.
Combined, all of these developments have the potential to make mobile telecom management more productive, less expensive and more secure moving forward.
Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.