Deploying Microsoft SharePoint securely on multiple mobile devices

Gartner talks about Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) as being the ‘the most radical shift in client computing since the introduction of the PC’, which if they are right, will fundamentally affect almost every organization and how they provision IT services to employees.

Providing secure access to enterprise systems as part of an enterprise mobility or BYOD strategy may become a significant challenge to overcome for many organizations.  Rory Staunton at industry analysts Strategy Partners, declared during a keynote speech recently, that ‘every enterprise system, from CRM and ERP applications, through to intranets and custom line-of-business applications will be targets for mobile conversion’.

When you look at the most likely candidates for mobilization across the business, you would probably want to select those applications that reach and impact the most number of users and where the greatest return on mobile productivity would be.  Microsoft SharePoint would seem to be amongst the most obvious of candidates, since 69% of the 65,000 organizations who have deployed SharePoint, have deployed it enterprise-wide, according to Microsoft, and it typically is the place that employees go to collaborate with each other, access documents and content and to keep informed of company news and events.

So, what is stopping you from taking the plunge and providing access to SharePoint to your mobile users today?

Firstly, there may be the realization that employees who try to access corporate systems on mobile devices, are essentially the same as external users, as far as information security is concerned, and if you do not currently allow external access over your firewall to your internal systems, then this will probably be one of the key areas for you  to start your enterprise mobility and BYOD initiatives.

Secondly, for those who have examined the standard mobile templates that ship with SharePoint, you will come to understand that unless you undertake a significant amount of custom development work (which will need to be repeated for each mobile device), it is unlikely that your business users are going to find the standard mobile SharePoint templates an engaging and productive working experience.

There are a number of off-the-shelf mobile SharePoint solutions, like Azurati’s SharePoint2Go solution and others, and this will undoubtedly encourage you to start thinking about what kind of mobile experience you want to provide to your users.  On this issue, it is important to be clear about where you (the employer, rather than the employee) stand on the provision of mobile services that access enterprise systems.  It is one thing to allow personal devices, or corporately sanctioned devices to be used in the workplace, but this should not come at a cost to information security and control over user access and management.  This may dictate whether you decide to deploy Native Mobile Applications (that can be purchased by individual users from App Stores and market places) and Mobile Web Applications that can be purchased and deployed centrally and can be updated without having to rely on end users to do this manually from their mobile platform App Stores.

To many the perception is that Mobile Web Applications are not able to take advantage of value-adding mobile device functions or that they are not available in offline mode.  On this front, a new generation of Mobile Web Applications, of which SharePoint2Go is a good example, are showing that you can deploy lightweight web-based mobile solutions that behave like native applications and can be used in offline mode.

Azurati will be hosting a webinar on this topic on the 19th of September if you are interested in finding out more about what you should be looking out for before you consider trying to deploy SharePoint as part of your enterprise mobility or BYOD strategy.

Webinar:  Deploying Microsoft SharePoint securely on multiple mobile platforms

When:  19 September 2012 (16:00 London/ 11:00 NY/ 08:00 LA)

Register:  https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/682161175

 

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2 Responses to Deploying Microsoft SharePoint securely on multiple mobile devices

  1. Bernard Muller says:

    Hello,
    I attended to the webinar on September 19th. Where can I find the slides ?
    Best Regards
    Bernard Muller

  2. azurati says:

    A recording of this webinar can be viewed at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/682161175. Copies of the presentation slide deck can be requested by contacting info@azurati.com. Thanks.

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