Has your enterprise mobility strategy matured beyond providing access to mobile email?

Let’s face it, most of us think about enterprise mobility or BYOD, or even COPE (Corporately Owned, Privately Enabled) as the new way to give an employee the right to use a smartphone or tablet to access corporate email and to use smartphones as … phones.

While email consumes a huge portion of our working lives, it is the ability to access core enterprise systems, that hold corporate content and data, that really make us productive.

Why then, is there so little debate about accessing enterprise applications on mobile devices as part of a corporate mobility or BYOD policy?  Some may argue because enterprise systems have not been designed to be used on a small tablet screen, or smaller smartphone screen; and they would be right.

Then there is the issue of authentication and security.  While many companies sanction the access of corporate email via the native mail clients on iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows Phone, etc., there is quite rightly a reticence to be so cavalier about opening up access to core enterprise systems to users on mobile devices.

What applications are candidates for mobile conversion?
Beyond providing access to corporate email on mobile devices, there are a number of enterprise systems that could or should be considered as candidates for ‘mobilization’.  These may be applications that support field-based staff or staff who travel frequently and who need to remain connected to the business when they are not in the office, like CRM systems, Microsoft SharePoint, enterprise social collaboration tools or BI reporting dashboards.

Mobile optimization of enterprise applications
Some enterprise software vendors have already created mobile app versions of their solutions – SAP Sybase is one of the leading players in providing development platforms to do this.  However, there are many more business critical and line of business applications out there that should be made available to mobile users, but are not because they cannot be accessed or cannot be used on a mobile device.

Azurati recently launched a rapid application development platform, called Azurati ASAP® that is similar to SAP Sybase’s mobile development framework, but allows developers to rapidly create secure cross-platform mobile applications from existing enterprise applications.

Azurati also sells a cross-platform mobile SharePoint solution, developed on the Azurati ASAP platform, called SharePoint2Go®.

Sorting out the authentication and security issue
For many companies, enterprise mobility begins and ends with authentication.  It is relatively common for external access to corporate systems to be blocked and will remain so.  For others, there may not have been a compelling reason to open access to corporate systems via the internet; until now.

The explosion in mobile device use is driving the requirement to allow access to corporate systems from these devices.  It is important to note however, that a member of staff trying to access your systems on a tablet or smartphone is essentially the same thing as an external user, as far as security is concerned.

Make sure that the mobile application vendor or solution provider you choose to work with, is able to work with your preferred method of authentication and gaining secure access to your environment.

Supporting your enterprise mobility or BYOD strategy
Announcing a multi-device mobile strategy or free-for-all BYOD policy may be one thing, but if you don’t just mean to allow access to corporate email and voice calls, then you need to ensure that the mobile application solution(s) that you decide to work with are able to support your mobility strategy.

If you decide to standardise on iPads that may be fine; but if you have a more open mobile device policy it is important to check whether your mobile enterprise applications can be accessed as well on an iPad as on an Android smartphone, Windows Phone or Blackberry with a consistent user experience and parity in functionality.

About Azurati
Azurati is a leading enterprise mobile application software vendor, specialising in mobile enterprise applications that can be accessed securely on any smartphone or tablet.

Azurati’s two product offerings are:

  • SharePoint2Go: a secure cross-platform mobile SharePoint solution
  • Azurati ASAP: a rapid application development platform for transforming enterprise applications into secure cross-platform mobile applications

Visit www.azurati.com for more information

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