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Monday, August 26, 2013

Challenges To Making The Enterprise Road-Ready

There’s a lot more to enterprise mobility than building apps and distributing them to the workforce. Security, functionality, performance, and connectivity are among the major challenges IT departments face.

Since the early days of mobility, IT departments kept their mobile workers locked down with closed systems and standardized, company-issued phones. It was largely a BlackBerry world, with only authorized apps allowed on the phone. This simplified the security challenge, with IT maintaining reasonable access control, as well as the ability to remotely wipe phones if these were compromised.

The smartphone revolution, though, first saw workers double-clutching — the company BlackBerry in one hand, their own iPhone in the other — and then demanding that IT enable their personal phones to access company data so they could ditch the BlackBerry entirely. It was the beginning of the new, Bring Your Own Device phenomenon. But mixing up company and personal data and apps on phones that aren’t in IT’s control, on unsecured networks, has opened up Pandora’s box for corporate data security. This remains one of the biggest challenges for enterprise mobilization.

Ensuring the performance of new mobile apps is another huge challenge. Building mobile apps is more complicated than desktop apps, typically involving up to four operating systems and various form factors. iOS and Android are musts. The BlackBerry is still in play in many enterprises. And some are anticipating that Windows Phone will get a boost with the rollout of Windows 8.

Testing enterprise mobile apps is an even more complicated issue. Even if development is restricted to the two leading operating systems, there are scores of screen sizes, resolutions, UI nuances and other variations to deal with, particularly on the Android side. Proving an app on one device (or even several) for an OS does not guarantee it will function properly on most or all devices running that OS. It’s a complex and critical development challenge.

Related Links

The March Towards Mobilization

Optimize End User Experience For Mobile Devices

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