Se­cur­ing Mo­bil­ity

To gain a sus­tain­able ad­van­tage from en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity, en­ter­prises have to take a more com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach

Voice&Data - - ENTERPRISE MOBILITY - Amit Chat­ter­jee

Ev­ery­one is rush­ing to im­ple­ment mo­bil­ity. IT de­part­ments in In­dia are no ex­cep­tion, as lo­cal smart­phone pen­e­tra­tion con­tin­ues to as­cend and the city’s con­sumers and cit­i­zens in­creas­ingly de­mand in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion. This is a fun­da­men­tal shift in IT fo­cus, con­sid­er­ing that the ma­jor­ity of to­day’s IT bud­get goes to­ward main­te­nance and op­er­a­tions.

But this ea­ger­ness to quickly gen­er­ate cool apps for the new­est mo­bile de­vices can com­pro­mise ef­fi­ciency, se­cu­rity, and user ex­pe­ri­ence. ‘Go­ing mo­bile’ can trans­form the way you con­nect with em­ploy­ees and cus­tomers. But to suc­ceed and gain a sus­tain­able ad­van­tage from en­ter­prise mo­bil­ity, en­ter­prises have to take a more com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach and mo­bil­ity needs end-to-end think­ing.


Mo­bil­ity is much more than just the mo­bile app. Or­ga­ni­za­tions must take a more holis­tic ap­proach to mo­bil­ity. This means look­ing at the ap­pli­ca­tion it­self and its in­te­gra­tion with back-end sys­tems. Plat­form se­cu­rity and sup­port for mul­ti­ple plat­forms must also be con­sid­ered. Fur­ther­more, the cre­ation of app cat­a­logs de­tail­ing ap­pli­ca­tion avail­abil­ity for em­ploy­ees should not be over­looked.

As an ex­am­ple of end-to-end think­ing in mo­bil­ity, con­sider a so­lu­tion built for the US re­gional court sys­tem to im­prove its sched­ul­ing of day-to-day op­er­a­tions.

Or­di­nar­ily, po­lice of­fi­cers called to tes­tify could lose an en­tire day wait­ing to take the stand. But now a mo­bile con­nec­tion sends emails or text no­ti­fi­ca­tions to of­fi­cers, let­ting them know ex­actly when they are needed to tes­tify.

Pro­vid­ing of­fi­cers an alert that their tes­ti­mony will be needed in an hour—and bas­ing that no­ti­fi­ca­tion on an up-tothe-minute sched­ule—is a tremen­dous im­prove­ment over ask­ing them to wait for days. The sys­tem will save tens of thou­sands of hours of po­lice time per year, im­prove public safety, and re­duce cost and frus­tra­tion among of­fi­cers.

In fact, the court sched­ul­ing sys­tem was so suc­cess­ful that the courts them­selves did not even pay for the sys­tem. The po­lice depart­ment val­ued the im­proved process so much that it paid for the en­tire court au­to­ma­tion en­vi­ron­ment.

But for the mo­bile com­po­nent of the sys­tem to work prop­erly, the app needed to in­te­grate seam­lessly with a num­ber of se­cure sys­tems.

Three Prin­ci­ples for Mo­bile Suc­cess

The ad­vice to IT lead­ers is to fol­low these 3 prin­ci­ples to chart a course for suc­cess­ful mo­bile ser­vices, while keep­ing an end-toend ap­proach in mind:

Or­ga­ni­za­tions should cre­ate a plan for en­abling new em­ployee pro­duc­tiv­ity, bet­ter cit­i­zen, and cus­tomer ser­vice through mo­bil­ity—pri­or­i­tiz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and de­cid­ing which mo­bile


ser­vices to tackle first. It is also im­por­tant to keep in mind that valu­able user con­nec­tions de­pend on back-end sys­tems to au­to­mate pro­cesses and fully en­gage the em­ployee, cus­tomer, or cit­i­zen.

Or­ga­ni­za­tions can op­ti­mize IT for mo­bil­ity by con­verg­ing tra­di­tional and mo­bile en­vi­ron­ments to re­duce cost and in­crease agility. Ap­pli­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment teams have al­ready im­proved their time-to-mar­ket us­ing ag­ile de­vel­op­ment meth­ods, so those same par­al­lel ap­proaches should be lever­aged for mo­bile de­vel­op­ment. Mo­bil­ity should be part of a sin­gle ap­pli­ca­tion life­cy­cle ap­proach, not just an­other set of IT si­los.

Mo­bil­ity comes with its own set of pit­falls and se­cu­rity threats, so or­ga­ni­za­tions must man­age and se­cure de­vices to re­duce their risk. IT should en­sure se­cu­rity within the ap­pli­ca­tion dur­ing de­vel­op­ment (it’s much less costly to catch prob­lems there), along with se­curely man­ag­ing the de­vice and in­te­gra­tion lev­els.

An end- to- end ap­proach should in­te­grate mo­bile into a com­pre­hen­sive se­cu­rity pol­icy and en­sure that there is clear vis­i­bil­ity into users, data, and ap­pli­ca­tions.

Mo­bile se­cu­rity must re­flect the ex­tended en­ter­prise and be ever-evolv­ing and prag­matic, given the re­al­i­ties of to­day’s mo­bile de­vices and plat­forms. When taken strate­gi­cally, mo­bil­ity is the best op­por­tu­nity to dra­mat­i­cally mod­ern­ize ser­vices and to open new chan­nels. But to en­sure suc­cess, or­ga­ni­za­tions must take an end-to-end ap­proach and fol­low key prin­ci­ples as they ‘go mo­bile’.



The au­thor is di­rec­tor, HP soft­ware

& so­lu­tions, HP In­dia vad­mail@cy­berme­

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