There’s a difference between mobile-friendliness and mobile management
Hopefully, by this point in time, your website should be designed with mobile in mind, so that, at the very least, it adapts to different screen sizes. Going forward, you may want to think about optimizing your website for voice search, although the urgency and importance of this will depend on your industry. Undertaking this process may have given you an insight into just how different the mobile world is from the mainstream PC/Mac world. Undertaking enterprise-wide mobile-integration projects will almost certainly take this complexity to a whole new level.
Acquisitioning, provisioning and supporting mobile devices can be complicated enough
There are basically two approaches you can take to acquisitioning, provisioning and supporting mobile devices. The first could be called the “traditional” approach. In this approach, the company takes care of everything. You choose what mobile devices and accessories your employees get and you either provide the support for them yourself or give them the details of a third-party vendor who will give them any assistance they need.
The second approach is commonly known as the “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) approach. This is exactly what it sounds like, employees bring whatever devices they want, possibly with some stipulations, especially if the company is contributing to the purchase of the devices. They choose their own accessories and they may or may not have to make their own arrangements for support.
As is generally the case, neither approach is inherently right or wrong and many companies use a blend of the two. Typically, they will provide and support mobile devices for people who have a business need for them and also allow other employees (and possibly freelancers) to bring their own devices to use at work if it is not essential but helpful. This obviously requires getting to grips with both approaches, which, just as obviously, have significant differences.
Enterprise use of mobile devices requires massive strategic planning
The previous paragraph applies to any company which wants to use mobile devices in any capacity, even the most basic, such as using a cellphone for actually making calls. If you want to go further and connect your mobile platforms with your existing business processes, back-end systems and databases, then the level of complexity involved goes up even further.
In most cases, it’s only going to take a short while for you to discover that your needs are going to be best served by developing custom apps. The design, development and integration of which typically requires staff with a high level of competence in this specific niche (as opposed to general IT or mobile web design or even general app creation). It also typically requires the use of specialist software tools.
Once this initial integration project is complete, you can then switch primarily to a “care and maintenance” system, although even this can be a lot for the average business to manage, especially SMBs. It’s also worth remembering that the nature of mobile devices and their operating systems means that regular updates are likely to be a fact of life as is the need for hypervigilance on anything to do with security.
How to know if you would benefit from managed mobility services
Hopefully, this article will already have given you an idea of whether or not outsourcing the care of your mobile devices would be something that could interest you. If you still feel you need to research the issue further, then the best place to start would usually be to check with your current IT team to see if they already had the necessary level of mobile-specific expertise.
In many cases, an in-house IT team, will still see mobile as just an “add on” to their core operations. If this is the case, then you might wish to cost out the possible expense of acquiring the necessary skills in-house, but it’s highly unlikely that it will work out more cost-effective than using managed mobility services. In fact, it will probably be very much the opposite.
If, by contrast, your in-house IT team does have the necessary skills then you may wish to look at leveraging them, but again, if people are working on a mobile-integration project then they are not working on something else, plus you will also need to think about what you would do if they left your company.
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