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There is no denying the widespread acceptance of mobile devices as an integral part of human lives and the absolute enthusiasm for consumer-facing apps. People who use the technology of their mobiles to organise and improve their daily lives are the same people who work for your organisation.
Most of us are now connected 24/7, and we shift between devices with the natural ease of a practiced juggler.
Needless to say, these newly evolved traits spill over in the workplace. Most of your employees want to use mobile devices and apps in the office for work purposes too. At this juncture, the pull of BYOD, cloud and enterprise mobility is strong, and most enterprises are at least considering building a strategy to leverage these developments.
But, there is a lot of fog of misinformation around the concept, and many still get caught by the myths. Let's take a look at some lies or half-truths that too many enterprises see as cold-hard facts.
Myth 1: It's best to wait and watch
In 2012, many enterprises started figuring out a strategy for making most of the mobile opportunity. The trend grew stronger in 2013, with a substantial number of enterprises exploring the idea of enterprise mobility. But even today, in 2014, there are many enterprises that are waiting for the 'right' time.
Frankly, you don't have time. Most enterprises start with building 9-10 apps for mission-critical tasks that require employees to access data and take decisions while on the move. The next stages may see the development of more apps and infrastructure. The app development and deployment cycle can take 9-12 months - the longer you dawdle, the more you miss out on the opportunities created by mobility.
Myth 2: BYOD is mandatory
BYOD presents quite a few challenges, but a large number of enterprises have made it work. COPE (corporately-owned, personally-enabled) is being touted as the only long-term solution, a panacea of sorts. The plus point of COPE is that it gives the IT managers of an enterprise a lot more control over the device. But, it comes with its own set of challenges and expenses. CYOD (choose your own device) is yet another approach that can provide a balance.
So, you don't have to implement BYOD for enterprises mobility. There are other options too, and you can choose the ones that work best for you.
Myth 3: Enterprise mobile apps are a security nightmare
Sure, if you have a dozen enterprise apps injected in your existing structure, the IT managers will have some extra work. But, once you take the right security measures, the apps won't be any more dangerous than your desktop devices.
Most people think that because a lot of data is exchanged on the apps while the devices are not on the premises, it is difficult to protect the data. With proper access controls and security measures, enterprise IT managers have near-complete power to control unauthorized access to any device or information. As for the possible security breaches caused by malicious human behavior or carelessness, it is a risk that you take daily with any device that is connected to the internet.
Myth 4: Enterprise mobility is too costly
Building an app doesn't need to be costly. Offshore mobile development companies can provide cost-effective development, and there are plenty of dependable contractors. Also, a custom-built enterprise app doesn't need to mimic a consumer-facing app. Apps created for the market cost more to build as the UI drives up the price: simpler, basic apps can be built quickly and for cheap.
While setting up security, perhaps investing in MDM, and creating a structure for deploying apps will definitely cost money, it is more of an investment that can pay for itself in terms of improved productivity. And, with the right approach, the costs can be kept under control. Enterprise mobility has justified business value.
Myth 5: Enterprise mobility needs big investment in infrastructure
When you implement enterprise mobility, in essence, you are giving mobility to your existing solutions. It doesn't involve significant overhauling of your existing infrastructure. You simply create apps that integrate with your backend to establish a flow of information from the legacy system to mobile devices. So, it doesn't entail a huge investment in infrastructure.
Enterprise mobility is a step that every enterprise will have to take at some or other time. And, time is running out. While you sit mulling the possible ill-effects of creating enterprise mobile apps for your employees, the competition is already experimenting with the approach and ironing out all the chinks.
2014 is the right time to dip your toe in enterprise mobility... wait longer, and it may be too late.
Nilesh Talaviya works as a mobile strategist for Cygnet Infotech, a leading enterprise mobility company offering tailored app development solutions. He is fascinated with the direction mobile development is taking and loves to write about current trends. Email Nilesh on moc.hcetofni-tengyc@ayivalatcn and follow him on Twitter @niltalaviya
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