Understanding the requirements that drive successful Enterprise Mobility Management

The road to EMM success is littered with failed projects (and companies for that matter) that didn’t properly define the requirements for successful Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM). To be successful you have to address requirements for three parts of any organization…the business itself, the actual users of course and the IT department. Understanding that you have to address requirements for each part is important and cannot be understated. Focusing on only one or two sets of requirements for an organization will prove costly.

Why address requirements for three parts of the organization?

Business Requirements

The business is looking for something far different from EMM than users and IT. The business needs to address compliance, privacy standards, data loss prevention, time-to-value, workforce productivity, employee satisfaction, reduce CAPEX/OPEX and choose a future proof-solution that will provide the best ROI at the lowest TCO among many other things. For example, a healthcare or federal organization may need to address mandated security requirements and privacy standards based on their risk posture and/or tolerance. On the other hand, a sales organization may look to improve workforce productivity and agility while securing corporate intellectual property. Every organization wants an EMM solution that enables them be agile, flexible and truly mobile. The need to address data loss prevention due to both sanctioned and unsanctioned bring-your-own devices (BYOD) and bring-your-own apps (BYOA) cannot be understated and has become vital. Organizations are being bombarded with employees using consumer applications, especially content management solutions, to be more productive. No business wants to be that company being featured on the 24 hour news cycle that had a security breach that resulted in the loss of corporate data or even much worse…customer data. Even more importantly, organizations want to implement a solution that has long-term viability…a comprehensive solution that can address many requirements but delivered from a vendor with staying power. EMM will evolve and change and it’s important to have a solution that is future-proof…as much as possible.

User Requirements

The user (often overlooked) has completely redefined the way IT services are delivered. If you think about IT, it was once assumed that everyone would work in an office, use a corporate-issued PC and be attached to a wired network. The reality is that today’s users are mobile, wireless, using cloud services, personal devices and mobile-apps. In fact, this type of work experience has become normal and is expected by younger employees. Users want device choice, and many now prefer to use iOS and Android devices. In some cases users possess many different types of devices depending on what they’re trying to address while mobile both inside and outside of the office. I myself carry a HP Windows 7 laptop, Samsung Windows 8.1 tablet, Apple iPad, Samsung Note 10.1 tablet and Apple 5S iPhone. My device changes based on how mobile I am and my work requirements for that time period. This makes productivity apps that provide a native device experience essential. Most users want to use apps that mimic the functionality and ease of use that consumer apps offer. And, more importantly they want to use their own device to get access to all their corporate apps and data at any time. They don’t care if the app is Windows, web, SaaS, intranet or mobile…they want access and just expect it to work from any device. In a nutshell, users want performance, personalization and functionality and if you have skimped on any of these…then you will have lost them. Take a step back and think about how you use personal apps on your mobile device. If that app doesn’t give you the experience and performance you expect after a few tries, what do you typically do? You delete it.

IT Requirements

IT wants a solution that gives them complete control over corporate apps and data with the ability to monitor and manage apps, data and the devices they’re on with a simplified process. The solution has to be enterprise grade and address the broadest set of EMM use cases. It has to be flexible enough to address device management, app management, content management, mobile device support, mobile collaboration, mobile network security and even much more. In fact network security is actually one of the most important requirements because is the networking isn’t secure…everything else is pointless. Solutions that offer the ability to deploy on-premise, in a secure public cloud or the ability to bridge both is key. Many IT departments are looking to address business continuity and disaster recovery initiatives as many organizations have SLAs that require 100% uptime. The next hurricane or snowstorm that comes along shouldn’t automatically mean a loss in mobile workforce productivity. Complex, multi-product solutions from multiple vendors with different SLAs can be a nightmare. I began my career in IT and I can tell you there is nothing worse than that Friday evening call at 5:55 PM (when your shift ends at 6PM) with a customer on the other end experiencing an issue, or even worse, and outage and with multiple vendors on the phone pointing their fingers at each other…you just want “one throat to choke” and your issue resolved.

Planning for EMM

If you’re looking to implement an EMM solution, it’s important to do your due diligence. Implementing an EMM solution is both a team effort and a contact sport. It is important you get real engagement from key stakeholders and, of course, even ask the employees themselves. Reach out to non-typical stakeholders such as Legal, HR and even lines-of-businesses such as Sales as these stakeholders may have more influence over a possible EMM program than you think. After you put together your key stakeholders, it’s important to remember the main issues that will affect your stakeholders’ decision making process, and that includes but is not limited to, strategy, funding and in-house skills. This is where it’s important that you help them to rationalize and align key business drivers with those issues. And last but not least, define both what your users like and need and get a solution that addresses that mobile workflow. One thing for sure is certain…one size doesn’t fit all.