The number of mobile devices used in business shows no signs of slowing. Technology itself has changed the nature of work for many, putting smart devices into the hands of some for the first time, and helping others dramatically improve productivity.
The need to manage network access and protect company data first gave rise to mobile device management platforms some years ago. And today, managing mobility within the organisation has become a strategic activity, capable of delivering powerful benefits.
Yes, your device management platform must still enable employees to connect a wide range of smartphones and tablets to the network, providing tools that help them to be productive from anywhere. And yes, it must also secure and control access to your corporate applications and data, while simultaneously providing remote device management and the ability to lock-down compromised devices. But with the right tools in place, your mobility strategy can now achieve far more.
First, you can free up your IT resources to work smarter, better and faster. In recent years, the role of IT has evolved from passive provider of technology to strategic insurgent. IT is now responsible for proposing the innovations that will transform competitiveness and business growth. Removing the time overheads involved in managing a fleet of mobile devices across multiple locations and countries is a key step in enabling them to achieve that.
Going forward, many technical innovations will feature mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices at their heart. Indeed unified communications and many other cloud-based solutions running on mobile devices are already helping large organisations improve productivity and reduce costs. More and more such applications will increasingly run over IoT nodes, creating yet more connected devices to manage.
And that will make effective centralised management tools even more essential. As well as streamlining management, they will also potentially allow your fleet of connected devices to be harnessed as a single, agile technology asset that can be re-deployed in different ways to meet the changing competitive needs of your business.
A managed mobility strategy can also deliver huge cost benefits to your business. Improving how you manage your mobile fleet can enable you to reduce direct costs such as office space and hardware. It can also deliver many less tangible savings, such as lower personnel costs through increased retention and greater job flexibility. And of course the costs of not managing your devices effectively soon mount up, with a whole collection of expenses that you might not even have considered.
Capital expenditure can also be reduced by removing mobile devices from the balance sheet altogether. The most advanced mobile technology vendors are already offering OPEX-only business models where fully-configured mobile devices are delivered and managed end to end, as an external service.
Whatever your business goals, a coherent managed mobility strategy is essential – especially as your fleet of mobile devices grows in size and complexity. The right tools and the right mobile device partner can help you save time and money, improve employee productivity, and free up your IT organisation to deliver genuine business transformation.
Find out about Vodafone Device Lifecycle Management.
Gartner has positioned Vodafone as a "Leader" in its Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, Worldwide report 2017, for the fourth consecutive year