You Experience #3 – Get A Life
Consumerization has made us extremely sensitive to exciting, desirable user experiences on the mobile devices of our own choice, as the divide between our personal and work life blurs. Mobile Device Management helps us to stay in control and keep a heterogeneous platform secure, thus satisfying business-level requirements. However, mobile operating systems increasingly have strong support for mixing private and business roles, while bringing us the next level of user experience. It is a matter of finding a healthy balance between the perspectives of the consumer and business professional, in order to get most out of the mobile revolution.

The explosion of smartphones and tablets has resulted in consumers bringing their own devices into the workplace. It’s becoming a firmly accepted business practice, simply because employees empower themselves with the best technology to be able respond to the heightened expectations of the digitally empowered customer.  In turn, the need to manage and secure those devices has given rise to sophisticated Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools and security applications. Cloud-based, scalable and affordable MDM solutions such as AirWatch are now widely available on demand from the cloud.
But if enterprises are to maintain a truly secure and carefully managed environment, while also providing their employees with a dynamic and exciting consumer experience, there is a strong case for Bring Your Own Device to be transformed into Bring Your Office Device – providing company-issued devices that can be used at work and away from the office for consumer applications.
Operating systems such as Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8.1 (but increasingly also iOS and Android and let’s certainly not rule out BlackBerry OS) can provide a rich consumer experience as well as powerful and secure business functions, helping organizations and their employees to create a new work-life balance. Employees are more likely to adhere to company policies, for example, if they are able to switch identities easily between business and consumer. It’s no coincidence that IBM and Apple embarked on a partnership that aims at enterprise mobile users, marrying the enterprise grade attributes of IBM’s MobileFirst platform with Apple’s notorious usage design qualities.
There are some key practical reasons for companies to issue devices to employees, starting with security. By owning and managing devices, companies can be certain that they are able to lock them and wipe sensitive data remotely in the event of theft or a security breach. As a result, enterprises are more likely to provide employees with access to critical data and applications through a company-owned and company-managed device – often leading to greater productivity. Company-issued handsets can also help to manage and encourage the use of branded enterprise apps and content.
Whether businesses restrict mobile device usage to company-issued products or encourage a Bring Your Own Device strategy, consideration must be given to the apps themselves and how they are secured, managed and deployed. Apps and data must be secure across all devices. Mobile Application Management (MAM) complements device security by wrapping apps and data individually at the application level. Encryption and other security controls offer data protection and access control while still giving users the mobile experience they want.
Enterprises need a coherent, end-to-end policy strategy and a flexible content-management system to manage corporate and consumer apps running across different operating systems. And they need to put in place data loss protection controls that restrict the forwarding or accessing of sensitive data.
It’s time to assess the potential merits of a Bring Your Office Device approach. Enterprises could take greater control and use the full capabilities of an increasingly business-oriented mobile OS, issuing a company-standard device that is easier to manage and secure and – by switching to a different identity – also satisfies consumer needs away from the workplace.
In the end however, no matter what approach an enterprise chooses – Bring Your Own Device or Bring Your Office Device – it is key to understand the dynamics of our rapidly intertwining business and work lives and turn it into a proper mobility strategy. This is where the new value is hiding. It certainly brings a new meaning to the ‘get a life’ catch phrase: from now on, it’s about minding your own and your business.

Your expert: Fernando Alvarez  

Part of Capgemini’s TechnoVision 2015 update series. See the overview here.