Northgate Managed Services

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Northgate discusses why organisations should embrace the mobile trend and how to manage mobile devices

28 Jun 2012

Andy Ross, Chief Executive of Northgate Managed Services discusses why organisations should embrace the mobile trend and how to manage mobile devices.

Consumerisation of IT means organisations are under pressure to provide at least the same user experience at work as employees get at home.  With the increase of flexible working and mobile workforces, there is more demand for mobile technology.  With Gartner predicting that by 2013, 80% of businesses will support a workforce using tablets it is clear that this is a consumer trend that will be adopted by enterprises quickly. Andy Ross, Chief Executive of Northgate Managed Services discusses why organisations should embrace the mobile trend and how to manage mobile devices.

The digital generation that we live in, the evolution of cloud technology and the fact that technology is more accessible, means most organisations’ employees, from postroom to boardroom will have personal access to a recent mobile device. This could be a smart phone or tablet with the latest features and ability to access ‘alternative’ services such as Twitter, YouTube, iCloud, Facebook, Google Apps and Microsoft 365.  These types of devices and services have now moved from the latest consumer fad to essential business tools. The convenience, flexibility and better user experience means your employees want to be able to use these tools within their working environment.   Working with our customers it is clear more and more staff are using non-corporate devices to download, share and send corporate data using cloud services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive and Google Drive. This coupled with the increase in mobile working means companies need to embrace this trend so that employee needs are met, which in the end should lead to a more efficient and productive organisation.

With our experience, we have seen a growing interest in managing mobile devices either due to organic growth or as a result of demand from employees.  We have been working with our customers to help them prepare for an increase in mobile device usewhether it’s a company provided or staff owned device. There are a number of aspects to take into consideration when planning to provide access to corporate systems, such as maintaining security, management and control.

Before you can adopt a mobile environment as an organisation you need to ask yourself is your infrastructure ready to support an increase in mobile device use? Do you have a secure wireless network in place?  What policies and systems do you need in place in order to enable this to happen? How do you manage any non -corporate devices which may already be accessing information or sharing data?

We have worked with our customers to audit their existing IT Infrastructure and prepare them for the changed IT environment.  It is important to ensure that organisations have the knowledge to enforce security and compliance in terms of access and usage. We have established policies that productively support hybrid use of mobile devices while maintaining a protected and cost efficient enterprise environment.

There are many Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile File Management (MFM) technology options available to help simplify IT management, with centralised configuration and monitoring including fast provisioning of new devices.  This means as an organisation you will be able to offer secure mobile access to corporate resources and monitor usage and manage performance. Depending what you want to do whether it is supporting company provided or staff owned devices, have a hosted or cloud solution, support various mobile operating systems such as Apple iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows or BlackBerry there is an option to fit your needs.  The solutions can be tailored to your existing toolsets and requirements, including the level of security needed.

By supporting mobile working with secure access to corporate systems and data anytime and anywhere, you are helping to protect your organisations information but are also providing the flexibility for your workforce to be more productive.  If your organisation is feeling the pressure to go mobile, our technical services team at Northgate can help you make the transition.