Application management and enabling the mobile worker
As your typical modern mobile employee, I’m pretty sure most people will relate to the fact that, at least 50% of the applications you use in the course of conducting your work are performed on the go. Actually, a recent study shows that employees are working some 30 extra hours a month from home on mobile devices. That’s equivalent to four extra work days a month per employee. This is great news if you’re the employer, but it does raise questions about our work-life balance!
We send more e-mails, read more documents, and respond to clients and co-workers at all times of the day, just because we can. It means that the process of collaborating effectively with our customers, colleagues, business partners and the applications that support this, need to be more responsive and more accessible than ever.
Why? Well, we’ve talked about consumerisation and the effects it has on user demands. We expect the same type of responsiveness and simplicity from our corporate mobile apps, as we get from our online banking or taxi booking applications. Everyone is talking about Uber, and rightly so, because they have wholly changed expectations of taxi experience. I can’t remember the last time I waited in a taxi queue, and likewise, I want the same ease of use from my mobile applications.
This challenges the modern IT infrastructure team more than ever. Not only are they charged with maintaining the traditional means of managing applications and desktops – the Standard Operating Environment (SOE) with locally installed applications and desktop operating systems managed through tools like SCCM – but they must also manage the new mobile world.
In a recent survey, 84% of respondents indicated that managing this complex environment is a challenge, when seeking to evolve their End User Computing strategy. A change is coming though. In the next 12-18 months this dichotomy will be challenged, as organisations seek to adopt windows 10 – potentially the first desktop operating system to finally bridge the traditional mobile/desktop divide. Organisations will have a choice to make in how they treat Windows 10. Is it a desktop, to be managed in the SOE model, or is it a mobile device, using EMM solutions to secure and manage it?
As your business looks to embrace enterprise mobility, you’ll need to determine which applications to make available to the next-generation worker. Is every mobile application worth implementing? This can be determined by weighing the value of various applications that enhance business processes against their cost and risk. If approached with the right strategic intent and supporting business process integration, mobile applications hold great potential to drive significant efficiencies within today’s business.
The challenge for IT is to determine the most appropriate method of delivery for this service. It is more efficient to leverage the scale of an outsourcing provider, who will deliver an SLA based service, giving you peace of mind and taking advantage of economies of scale in delivery. Done right, this should free up capital to invest in the applications that truly differentiate your organization – the “genetic apps”, like core banking systems for financial services, or supply chain management systems in manufacturing.
From the user’s point of, the focus has moved away from managing just desktops, and towards accommodating new, mobile workstyles and trends. When we look at the shift towards user-centric computing, it’s all about the fast, secure delivery of application services and data, to any endpoint at any location. Determining the correct delivery model for each application supports this end, and enables appropriate planning of scale and resource allocation.
So that’s it from me for this week, next time we’ll be looking at sustainability in the modern world – not just being green, but how mobile can drive tools and systems to achieve long-lasting reduction of travel, energy, and waste.