How IoT will change Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)

While IOT and enterprise mobility are separate technologies, they are increasingly overlapping as businesses tackle the influx of new mobile and wearable technology within their corporate networks. With over 38 billion internet-connected devices expected by 2020, it’s worth considering now how incorporating IoT in your business will impact upon your EMM strategy.

Potential Advantages

If you employ a mobility strategy to provide your employees with smart devices like phones and tablets, then you already know the benefits it can provide. It is worth considering then, how the many components of IoT – such as apps, wearables, and big data analytics – can provide rich benefits to your business. This may include:

  • Availability: a combination of mobile devices, wearables, and connected devices will allow employees to be always online, informed, and collaborative.
  • Reporting: devices can allow remote control and real-time updates of systems, and their performance and maintenance requirements.
  • Informed Decisions: access to such reporting enables employees to answer questions quickly, and be more strategic and efficient in their business operations.
  • Optimising: With big data analytics on specific operations, business leaders can optimise processes and make more informed strategies.

Combining IoT, mobility and big data ultimately leads to streamlined and automated business processes, helping to reduce costs, provide opportunities for new innovation, and create competitive advantage.

Potential Disadvantages

Like anything, there is a cost benefit analysis to be had about centralising IoT within an EMM strategy. Some of issues you may face are:

  • Implementation: Blending proprietary or legacy applications and devices with new technology can be time-consuming and difficult with stringent security requirements
  • Energy Consumption: IoT devices use energy and energy costs. Understand that choosing to roll out further devices may impact upon the company resources.
  • Security: IoT and mobility consistently prove to be challenging to manage and secure. For more about specific concerns, read: How Secure Are Your Internet of Things Devices Anyway?
  • Privacy: When security gets breached, privacy of both employees and the company can become comprised.
  • Device Loss: With more devices in the workplace, the likelihood of theft or loss increases, meaning a management strategy for locking down the device and replacing it is required.

Integrating IOT in an EMM Strategy

The principles of sound enterprise mobility management and various mobility strategies still apply to IoT devices like wearables. BYOD, for example, still provides containers that secure data regardless of the point of entry such as a wearable IoT device.

If you are starting to consider IoT as part of your technology roadmap for future success, make sure you have an enterprise mobility management program in place. Start with the following questions:

  • How will you manage all the IoT devices on your network?
  • How will you keep those devices and their data secure?
  • What are you aiming to find with the data received from your users?
  • How are those who utilise the technology actually using it?
  • Are employees going to have their own wearables they want to bring?

It would be wise to test your IoT and EMM strategy on a small scale to observe and analyse how employees are actually interacting with the devices. Security also needs to come through encryption and user authentication at minimum.

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