Enterprises these days are urged to be “mobile first.” And for good reason: As the digital economy becomes increasingly dependent on mobile devices and apps, enterprises that treat mobile as an “add-on” to their IT infrastructures and development efforts (“let’s just try to tweak that desktop app for mobile”) will struggle against more flexible and adaptable competitors.
Other than lack of interest (not to mention critical thinking), what prevents modern enterprises from successfully pursuing a mobile-first strategy? Enterprise Mobility Exchange analysts Mark Bowker and Leah Matuson are glad you asked. The duo co-authored a new study titled “Overcoming The Top Five Barriers To Becoming A Mobile-First Enterprise” (registration required).
First, it should be noted that their survey uncovered a dozen specific barriers to mobile-first, as related by respondents. The study merely focuses on the top five. And here they are:
Security of endpoints, threat detection, and compliance. “Security perimeters evaporate as mobility initiatives pour into organisations.”
Network limitations. “With many enterprises using legacy and siloed solutions, applications, and systems … a less-than-cohesive infrastructure makes it difficult for IT to deploy mobile applications with a high degree of certainty.”
Corporate file access and protection. If employees lack easy mobile access to enterprise apps and data, they “may opt for alternate ways to access that information— such as downloading apps from the web, and using unsecured networks or systems.”
Unified communication and collaboration. “Without simple-to-use tools and access to secure file sharing programs, workers often feel compelled to find their own methods—using unsecured applications or networks, often at the expense of corporate security.”
Complexity of technology. “IT organisations are faced with a surplus of technology choices to help overcome mobility challenges, and embrace mobile-first initiatives.”
Other barriers include “maintaining compliance and corporate governance mandates,” managing a heterogeneous device environment,” and “rogue” employee devices and applications.
All the usual suspects are here: Security concerns, management concerns, integration concerns. Valid concerns all! But if the goal is to enable the enterprise’s business, IT decision makers simply must figure out ways around these barriers because the benefits of a mobile-first strategy are too compelling to ignore.
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