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Summary

Enterprise mobility is a trend that is presenting organizations not only with new opportunities but also challenges. From a service management perspective, how the increasingly mobile workforce is supported will require the refinement of certain processes. Ignoring enterprise mobility is a far from desirable approach. IT must understand the needs and behavior influencing the mobility trend, and their impact on how support is delivered. Adopting a strategic approach can help organizations in overcoming some of the more common challenges associated with enterprise mobility management (EMM), and can help to ensure the right practices and appropriate technology are in place that can help in realizing value from a mobility initiative.

IT must recognize and respond appropriately to evolving user needs and behavior relating to mobility

Advances and trends in the consumer mobile technology space over recent years have certainly influenced the demands and expectations that enterprise employees have of their IT departments. As a result, enterprise mobility is something that has garnered a great deal of attention and continues to do so. In the past, employees were typically provided with a generic work laptop or desktop and a mobile handset. Now, however, these same users are demanding that corporate hardware and applications are as intuitive to use as the technology that they interact with in their personal lives. This has led to IT departments being required to embrace a wider variety of hardware and applications, from the perspective of both provisioning and support. Failure to respond will often result in users sourcing hardware and applications from places other than their internal IT department.

Ovum research shows that more than 70% of full-time employees use their own devices for work, evidence that the number of mobile devices entering the workplace continues to grow. Support functions that have traditionally managed a limited and controlled hardware and application estate are now challenged with supporting a wider variety of devices and user needs relating to mobility. The trend cannot be ignored, and IT must respond to the challenges while also acting on the opportunities.

While early conversations relating to enterprise mobility have focused on the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, support discussions have now evolved, and enterprise mobility is now considered to be more behavior-centric as opposed to device-centric. Devices will change, and long-term strategies must consider how support practices and enabling technologies should evolve to meet new demands and emerging customer behavior.

The support of mobile devices and the more traditional PC hardware estate is often carried out via separate and sometimes disparate systems. The opportunity for both IT service management (ITSM) and EMM vendors is to provide technology that enables support administrators to manage the needs of users using a variety of different devices via a single unified interface. From a mobility perspective, a large number of vendors are approaching these needs with EMM solutions, and the market for these solutions is growing very quickly. More traditional IT service management solutions have taken major strides in recent years by adding capabilities that help support functions to meet new mobility challenges. There remains, however, an opportunity for ITSM solution providers to further develop functionality in this area by enabling customers to securely manage all endpoints.

Read more on this topic in our recently published full report: Supporting the Mobile Workforce

Appendix

Further reading

Supporting the mobile workforce, IT0022-000543 (December 2015)

Author

Adam Holtby, Research Analyst, Enterprise mobility and infrastructure solutions

adam.holtby@ovum.com

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