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According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, 75% of companies have “increased worker productivity” after deploying mobile apps.

Smartphones began this change – led by the iPhone and Blackberry. Tablet devices such as the iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab are set to accelerate this transition to full enterprise mobility.

Mobile devices are also changing how corporate IT Directors operate. Their main challenges include mobile device management, deploying mobile applications, maintaining high levels of security and providing employees with a user experience that increases productivity. It is not surprising that many IT Directors are moving towards an "Enterprise App Store" model.

The demand for applications is driving enterprise mobility. According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, 75% of companies have “increased worker productivity” after deploying mobile apps due to faster decision-making (66%); faster resolution of customer and internal IT issues (48%); and improved customer satisfaction (42%). In essence making business data available via apps to mobile devices increases the use and value of corporate data through real-time access, high availability, less delay, faster response and better customer engagement.

The key challenge is to define what type of information mobile apps should deliver. Consumers are increasingly using mobile devices; do you create consumer and employee connecting mobile applications to increase engagement and productivity? Do your consumer facing apps link to your CRM? Do you want to create apps that help employees save time and money with travel and expenses? Do you want to create industry or role specific apps that improve business processes?

The most forward thinking IT Directors are actively involved in analysing the data that employees need and also the key business processes and evolving this workflow to create effective enterprise apps. The traditional gap between IT and employees in an enterprise is diminishing; IT is now seen as an enabler that can assist innovation and collaboration between the various business divisions so that they can use information more effectively.

Mobile enterprise applications will have a much shorter development lifecycle than traditional business applications. Corporate IT and business software vendors are actively embracing enterprise mobility, innovations already appearing include agile and flexible data extraction tools that enable enterprise apps to be rapidly created for specific business needs.

The most significant challenge for enterprise apps however, is the security of mobile devices. With these vulnerable to being lost, hacked or stolen, there is a need for mobile device management and processes for keeping sensitive corporate data safe.

Vodafone Global Enterprise offers a comprehensive Device Manager Solution to address many of these challenges. Device Manager enables an IT department to remotely manage mobile devices over the air and audit device content. It can also be used to setup and manage new users and can recommend and audit applications being used on the device, whilst also offering the opportunity to promote internally developed apps. The device can be locked remotely and all user data erased if it is lost or stolen and data can also be encrypted on the device. This solution is available for multiple Operating Systems and can be managed from one web based console on a hosted, on premise or hybrid model.

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