What Comes First, The Chicken or Egg?

Do you remember when a company-issued cell phone was seen as an employee perk?  At the time, the phones were a revolutionary tool for business and sales executives to make calls while on the road.

Fast-forward to recent years, and cell phones have evolved into smart, mobile computing devices. The mobile enterprise landscape looks very different than it did a few years ago. Now, everyone from the repair technician, to the flight attendant, to the warehouse clerk is demanding access to information and business applicationsvia smartphone, tablet, laptop or other mobile device to perform their duties more efficiently, and many of these devices are self-purchased.

In some ways, developing a mobile strategy is like the old chicken-and-egg conundrum: do you provide employees with company-supplied devices or allow them to bring their own? If they bring their own, do you establish access and usage rules before the technology is deployed or do you wait and see what situations arise?

According to an IDC survey sponsored by Unisys, 95% of respondents indicated that they have used self-purchased technology for work purposes.  Organizations are deploying a diverse selection of company-owned devices including iPhones, iPads, Androids, and BlackBerry smartphones due to pressure from employees. Mobile cloud computing technology is also gaining acceptance in the enterprise space.  As a result of these trends, businesses are faced with the challenge of securing and managing a diverse portfolio of mobile devices from a variety of operating systems without compromising their IT infrastructure.

A mobile strategy goes beyond providing access to a calendar and email. Remote and mobile workers need access to critical business and other productivity apps, and depending upon their role in the company, some employees require access to social media sites to post communications and monitor customer feedback.

But how do you control who to give access and to what applications and websites? How do you keep company and personal data separate when implementing a BYOD program? How do you solve for security breaches and compliance risks?

The need to extend the enterprise to mobile employees securely, no matter where they are, and to make sure it works using a variety of devices can be quite challenging for IT departments.  Today’s highly complex mobile ecosystem requires a holistic and future-proof strategy.

To help shed light on this topic that is so important to enterprise and SMBs, Strategy Analytics and AT&T will explore the current trends that are shaping the enterprise mobility space and their impact to your organization in their live virtual event November 6, 2012 starting at 2 p.m. ET/11a.m. PT.

Join guest speaker Kevin Burden, Director of Mobility at Strategy Analytics, and mobility experts from AT&T for this live panel discussion. Register today to get practical advice on developing a mobile lifecycle management strategy for your organization.

In the meantime, what issues would you like to see discussed? Are you facing your own chicken-or-the-egg conundrum in developing an approach to mobile strategy?
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