Is an organization plugged into the mobile age by merely doling out smartphones and tablets?
In a recent survey on mobility management, CDW found that while companies have made significant progress deploying mobile devices, there was still plenty of room for improvement.
On the plus side, 76 percent of organizations have implemented guidelines for mobile device use, 69 percent require passwords for network logins, and 43 percent enforce use of screen locks on devices.
That’s the easy stuff, says CDW Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Neal Campbell. Of more concern: Only 22 percent limit the applications employees can load on their devices if they’re accessing the employer network, just 15 percent use partitioning, and only 24 percent use location tracking to recover lost or stolen devices.
For the most part, mobile users are flying blind and solo. This is largely the result of a communications gap between the IT department and rank-and-file BYOD users.
“Only 42 percent of the BYOD users even know about the guidelines IT departments have implemented,” Campbell says. “Now, since more than three-quarters of IT professionals say they do have guidelines for mobile use, we do have a communications gap.”
So how can companies close the loop on mobility and BYOD? CDW offers what Campbell calls its “5 Pillars” strategy for total mobility management: plan, enable, protect, support and empower.
Here are the main points of each piece of the strategy.
Plan: Don’t try to do this all at once. Start with a mobility policy workshop and work up to a 30/60/90-day quick-start plan. Then, develop a three-year plan that includes an accelerated mobile strategy and business case creation, as well as detailed infrastructure strategies for mobile IT and communications initiatives.
Enable: Focus on procurement and provisioning. CDW has developed a Mobility Management Portal  that offers cross-carrier device selection from a predefined catalog of mobile devices and accessories. It’s a single-user interface that lets IT departments manage mobile device inventory, perform upgrades and changes to existing services and manage contracts and terms.
Protect: Centralized management ensures that corporate safeguards remain in place. As part of its Total Mobility Management solution , CDW offers mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile expense management. All of these management services are made available through a dashboard, which allows IT managers to quickly get a snapshot of the mobile devices on their network and take swift action — such as wiping a lost tablet — in a user-friendly interface.
Support: While the vast majority of organizations offer either company-owned mobile devices or BYOD, only 21 percent say they are going to increase internal support staff for mobile initiatives. But companies don’t have to go it alone because CDW now offers 24/7 help desk support to mobile users within the organization. The help desk also offers remote MDM administration, including configuration and setup, ongoing management and compliance monitoring and alerts.
Empower: Mobility’s productivity engine doesn’t lie in the hardware — it’s in the apps. CDW now has an app marketplace that offers both best-in-class and framework applications, which are based on environments that help developers write across multiple platforms. Campbell says there are numerous off-the-shelf applications that many organizations will use, but CDW strongly believes that as companies become more comfortable with mobility, they will tend to use more framework, custom and industry-specific applications.
“We believe these framework apps are going to become more critical as companies roll out mobility,” Campbell says. “We’re also expecting about 23 percent of organizations to have some type of mobile app store. They will put applications that have been certified for their companies up on a website through a mobile device management or mobile content management platform and make them available to their end users.”
While the latest gadgets often grab the most attention in the technology press and around the water cooler, Campbell sees the devices as a small piece of the mobility pie.
“The device is less than half the investment,” Campbell points out. “I think that’s critical to understand,” he says, adding that any investment in mobility must include mobile security, and take into consideration storage and data center support levels.
To learn more about Neal Campbell and CDW's vision for the future of enterprise mobility, visit his leadership session . For more insights and ideas from leaders in technology, check out the rest of the Bring IT On Leadership Series .