Jul 14 2014

6 Steps to Integrating Mobility Smoothly

Follow these tips to make sure your mobility program fits well with your network infrastructure.

While integration of the network infrastructure and mobility is a critical task, it can be difficult to get started, even with the right technology. Here are some tips for making it go smoothly:

1. Establish mobility requirements early in the project. Whether an organization does this by gathering a group of stakeholders and users together or by enlisting a third party, this has to be the first step. The requirements should encompass everything that each department may need over the next three to five years.

These requirements can be both aspirational (creating new revenue streams or improving the availability of essential employees) or technological (allowing users to work remotely in a more efficient and secure manner or beginning a BYOD program). This is also the time to specify non-negotiable security or access requirements, as well as a timeline and budget.

2. Decide who is in charge of each part of both the project and the final result. In some cases, the network manager may take a primary role. In others, it may be an IT manager dedicated to enterprise mobility.

3. Evaluate technology. Does the IT shop want to work around existing solutions? Does it want to start from scratch? IT managers should make sure that the technologies it considers meet the organization’s requirements for flexibility, scalability, security and manageability.

4. Develop a governance policy. Although it might seem counterintuitive, it’s important to create and communicate this policy before implementing new technology. That way, users and executives know what to expect. Nobody likes surprises.

The policy should cover both enterprise-issued and employee-owned devices, as well as device management and lifecycle. The policy should spell out restrictions on business networks, along with application and data access, and steps that will be taken if a user leaves the organization or loses a device. It should also include policies that must be followed to ensure compliance with appropriate mandates.

5. Implement mobility in phases, one piece at a time. This practice lets the IT department prove to stakeholders and users that the plan is working before moving on to another phase. This approach applies not only to technology (for example, getting MDM working before moving to MAM or MIM) but also to rolling out the technology one department at a time.

6. Test after each phase, and make sure that stakeholders and users are satisfied. This step is essential to finding out what works (and what doesn’t) and ensuring that security is airtight.

Finally, organizations should consider bringing in a third party to help from the evaluation phase through requirements, implementation and testing. By working with a third party that understands the mobility roadmap and can evaluate an enterprise’s specific needs and requirements, stakeholders will have the highest degree of confidence that the approach taken is the right one.

Enterprise mobility is clearly here to stay, and organizations don’t have much choice when it comes to jumping on board. Finding the right technology and the right partner are key in making it work.

Want to learn more? Check out CDW’s white paper, “Microsoft Mobile Empowerment.”


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