Challenges of Managing Enterprise Mobility: The CIO Perspective

Challenges of Managing Enterprise Mobility: The CIO Perspective

Technology is in an ever-evolving state and it is vital that businesses keep their enterprise mobility strategy up to date.

We have found three of the most important aspects of managing enterprise mobility; from the CIOs perspective.


Security is seen as the number one challenge to the adoption of enterprise mobility.

With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) becoming increasingly popular, companies are struggling to control what company data is accessed and stored on employee devices.

“Our agents, our pilots and our flight attendants are all mobile by nature of their job. Our pilots now get their manuals and flight charts on iPads, so they no longer have to carry those giant suitcases with all those books. We gave our flight attendants tablets so they have the information they need without having to make an extra stop.” Maya Liebman, CIO of American Airlines, (Source: Mobile Enterprise).

Under a BYOD model (i.e. employee owned devices) it is harder to control access to company data. A simpler approach is to provide employees with one secure corporate device that can be configured to only allow access to company information.

With the increased use of wireless devices, and especially BYOD, sensitive company data becomes more vulnerable to breaches.

Even with the recent improvements to MDM and device security there is still risk involved especially with lost or stolen devices that store sensitive data on them.

Companies with successful mobile strategies tend to involve corporate security early in strategy development and embed security as a core component of the mobile architecture.

Other companies are making a trade-off by limiting the applications that can be installed on employee owned devices.

Take a look at our article “Securing BYO Devices with Android for Work“, which illustrates how BYO Android devices can be made more secure.


The cost of mobile devices and enabling their wireless connectivity comes at a high price.

This generally includes set up costs, technical components (MDM), more capacity (especially for email) and help-desk support.

“We now use mobile technology to track drivers’ times, which is government mandated. We replaced cell phones in the trucks with mobile devices locked in a kiosk mode with an MDM system that allowed us to get an M2M rate instead of the standard consumer rate”. Onyeka Nchege, CIO of Coco-Cola, (Source: Mobile Enterprise).

Another uncounted cost is the price for applications installed on to the device. Some apps have a one off fee but others have monthly or yearly per user subscription fees.

Businesses can better manage the issue of cost by implementing a tiered approach that has an emphasis on BYOD.

Focusing on the highest-value segments (managers), the IT team can provide employees with a set of modified applications that assist in driving revenue.

It is difficult however to manage costs for those businesses that require custom built mobile applications.

If specific needs are not met by commercial applications then companies find this added cost very difficult to avoid.


Enterprise mobility also comes with unique governance challenges. It affects application development, business process, infrastructure, and operational processes. Significant changes in each of these areas will be required for businesses to address these challenges.

In addition to this, a flexible strategy is required for enterprise mobility to be successful.

One possible strategy would be to create a mobility core team with separated functions for:

  • The business
  • IT applications
  • IT infrastructure
  • IT policy

The team would be in charge of developing semi-annual strategies and policies whilst also coordinating the implementation of each of these strategies.

The core team would report to the CIO of the company each month and would also be authorised to make significant changes within the IT department.

“When you place into someone’s hand a device several inches in dimension that has the computing power of an early supercomputer and beyond, the possibilities are endless”. Eric Singleton, CIO Chico’s FAS, (Source: Mobile Enterprise).

With wearable devices such as the Apple Watch on the rise, and the expected growth of the Internet of Things (IoT),  managing enterprise mobility is becoming increasingly challenging.

Enterprise mobility is evolving and will continue to evolve in the years to come. Companies will expand mobility capabilities beyond e-mail and other mobile applications as well as play a vital role in enhancing the customer (internal as well as external) experience.

All of this will come at a cost and companies will need to continually explore new ways to secure corporate information.  As a result, CIOs will need to build a strong strategy around the employment of enterprise mobility.

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