Mobility became ubiquitous and an inevitable part of our lives at home and in the workplace. It has a fundamental impact on the way we conduct our business. Fortunately, or unfortunately, mobile devices created a solid bridge between homes and business workplaces with considerable implications. For example, nowadays, in some ways, employers can easily access their employees even after work hours; hence the privacy of employees is affected by this easy accessibility.
The reality is that we cannot do business without the constant use of mobile devices anymore. Mobility turned to be an essential part of the business organisations and established a critical success factor for digital transformation initiatives.
Mobile technology, processes, and tools touch on every aspect of the enterprise modernisation and digital transformation initiatives. We cannot create a digital workplace without proper mobility architecture in place. We cannot have a modern enterprise and digitally transformed business without including the mobility concept to the equation.
Due to these compelling business reasons, we must approach mobility from strategic, architectural, design, and operational perspectives to properly integrate mobility into the culture and ecosystem of the modernising and transforming business organisations.
Life cycle management for mobile devices poses essential architectural considerations in the digital transformation engagements because dealing with and managing mobile devices can be daunting from many angles. The life cycle for mobile devices can be much more dynamic, rapid, and shorter than traditional computing and telecommunication devices therefore it requires agility and innovation for architecting and designing mobile solutions.
One of the fundamental architectural and design challenges related to mobile devices is dealing with an increasing quantity of devices in solution offerings. In the past, there were only office phones and employees used to share them. Nowadays, business workers have multiple mobile phones for different use cases. Having multiple mobile devices per person may equate to thousands of mobile devices to consider at the enterprise level.
In addition to quantity, the users in the enterprise tend to change mobile devices more frequently. These frequent changes require consideration of mobile applications, their software, and microcode updates in the transition, modernisation, and transformation programs.
Particularly, enterprise modernisation and transformation strategies must analyse and address the challenges associated with these mobile devices. To this end, the onus is on the enterprise architects who need to create dynamic and flexible governance to address the concerns related to the use and life cycle management of these devices optimally.
Security tops the list in terms of challenges of mobility in many business organisations. The security implications of mobile devices are exponentially increasing. These devices create many security vulnerabilities especially when they store business-critical data and information. Software updates can be persistent and very frequent. Frequent updates and patching can create a massive computing and process workload for the IT support departments.
Use of these mobile devices increases information consumption in the enterprise dramatically. Security control of the massive and ever growing mobile data can be demanding too. These security implications span across the data, application, and infrastructure domains; hence, a collaborative effort among the security, data, information, application, and infrastructure architects are essential. Enterprise architects, having big pictures, can coordinate this collaboration across other architectural domains in large business organisations.
These critical business and technical challenges created by mobile devices are real, evident, and ubiquitous in the enterprise. Therefore, enterprise modernisation and transformation initiatives must consider these challenges and find practical, innovative, and optimal ways to address them.
One of the solution approaches to address these concerns is to use a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) practice. UEM includes mobile management processes, software tools, and centralised management interfaces for consumers of the mobile devices.
The centralised views and mechanisms provided by UEM are necessary factors to improve the security capabilities and allow a collaborative content sharing for the consumers and business stakeholders. Due to the capabilties and benefits of UEM, it is essential to introduce this practice to modernising and transforming business environments as I described in one of my recent books titled “A Modern Enterprise Architecture Approach”.