Business mobility is bigger, broader and more complicated than ever. By 2020, 42 percent of the global workforce will be mobile. Companies depend on devices, apps and content to empower their workers to do their jobs from anywhere at anytime. Securing and managing all of the mobile technology has become a critically important, yet challenging job. Whether it is called MDM, EMM, or UEM, companies are deploying mobility management solutions to deal with the scale and complexity of their mobility deployments. This is what is driving double-digit growth in the EMM market over the next few years.

Unfortunately, business mobility is not plug and play. A successful implementation requires a lot of thought and planning. A good place to start is with a Corporate Mobility Policy. It will establish guidelines around the how and why mobile devices and apps get used within your company. Then your EMM deployment endorses and enforces your company’s mobility policies. However, even with a solid mobility strategy, supporting policies and EMM solution, the actual deployment of your business mobility can run into problems.

When we [SOTI] analyzed our support logs and interviewed our Sales Engineers and Tech Support leads, we found five recurring themes for the problems our customers were facing around a new mobility deployment.

1. Fail to plan, then plan to fail

Not every mobile device is equal. Companies may opt to buy cheaper OEM hardware that satisfies their device and app requirements, but they do not consider its security and management capabilities. Inexpensive devices may not support Google’s Android Enterprise (AE) management capabilities, they may not come with any built-in management capabilities, or the devices may not be supported by the EMM solution.

SOTI Recommendations

Research and consider the TCO of a device, not just its acquisition cost. You can ask SOTI’s advice prior to making your purchasing decision. The SOTI Device Certification program includes a database of SOTI MobiControl compatible devices from over 170 OEMs around the world. Alternatively, you can look at Googles listing of AE compatible devices.

2. Silos are silly

Any disconnect between procurement and the IT department can jeopardize a mobility deployment before it even begins. This is one reasons why Corporate Mobility Policies are so critical. Stakeholders with different agendas can work together to establish who within the company should get what type of mobile device (Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone) and what apps they need to do their jobs? Lack of communication and consensus will result in the purchase of unsuitable devices, wrong apps or inadequate infrastructure.

SOTI Recommendations:

Prior to purchasing, establish an agree-upon budget for mobile devices and conduct a full Proof of Concept (POC) test with all potential hardware and apps in the hands of real users. This will prevent “sticker shock” and identify any limitations in hardware, software, security or management. A mobile device management checklist can make the POC testing more effective.

3. Timing is critical

Starting procurement and implementation too early or too late can impede your mobile strategy. If you begin too early, devices may become obsolete, jeopardizing the longevity of the mobility solution. Beginning too late stresses out the deployment team, resulting in mistakes or skipping important testing during in the device rollout. A long delay from acquisition to deployment may require a critical OS update which can invalidate your POC testing to further delay deployment.

SOTI Recommendations

Incorporate time for testing and troubleshooting issues, add time for device certification with the EMM solution and other IT infrastructure, and add time for a staged rollout to mitigate risks of a failed device deployment.

4. The mobile OS is significant

Many companies are not familiar with the differences in management capabilities across various mobile operating systems (OS’s). The OS is as important as the device hardware in determining security and management capabilities. This is important for companies switching from legacy OSs like Windows CE, to a newer one like Google Android, Apple iOS, Windows 10 or Linux.

SOTI Recommendations

Conduct research into the management capabilities in different OSs. SOTI has an ebook that can help with this — Picking a Winner: Which Mobile Operating Systems are Best for your Company?

5. One kick at the can

There is a famous saying, “you only have one chance to make a first impression.” This is as true for technology deployments as it is for human interactions. If you put the wrong devices and apps in the hands of the wrong users, don’t be surprised if they struggle to use them effectively. For example, devices given to seniors for remote patient monitoring need to be foolproof, failsafe and easy to use. And once you fail, it is much harder to succeed the next time.

SOTI Recommendations

Understand your mobile users’ technical proficiency. Lockdown devices to its core functionality and use remote support capabilities to train new users and troubleshoot any issues they may come across. In addition, it is wise to create a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) group across various departments that can pilot and provide feedback on the rollout.

Of course, there are more challenges to a successful mobility deployment, and almost every company’s situation is unique. However, SOTI’s guidance in these five areas will give you a leg up on your deployment. If you want more detailed information about how to make your business mobility a success, please talk to our SOTI Professional Services staff. We can help you with your mobility strategy and guide you through the decisions regarding mobile device purchases and rollout plans. In addition, SOTI has a global base of over 2,000 partners that are experts in mobility management deployment who can aid in making your business mobility a success.