Mobility initiatives in the federal environment have been the subject of both acclaim and criticism, and to many agency IT leaders, strategies such as BYOD still remain a topic shrouded in mystery. While you may recognize the myriad benefits of this approach, there are likely some gaps in your mobile blueprint as a result of these mixed messages and reactions. Since it's your responsibility to deliver the power of remote access with the convenience and control of BYOD, the pressure is on you to clear the fog surrounding best practices and launch these programs with confidence.
As the captain of your agency's journey into this relatively unknown sector of IT, you may be in need of some pointers to ensure you guide end users in the right direction. With BYOD-enabled strategies in particular, it's important that you deploy end user devices correctly right off the bat. Here are four integration tips to make sure your mobile infrastructure launches without a hitch.
1. Virtualize wherever possible: Many of the early enterprise mobile device management software suites lacked the functionality of desktop workstations, making it difficult for end users to realize their full productivity potential in remote environments. By developing virtual machines that replicate these desktop configurations, your mobile blueprint will mirror your in-house workstation offerings pixel for pixel. This will add huge value to your mobile deployments and allow workers to experience the true flexibility and convenience of remote access.
"The consumerization of IT has enabled workers the freedom to choose their own devices," Paul Parke, vice president of product and corporate marketing at 1E, told the news provider. "IT needs to become more user-centric in order to embrace users that really have gotten rather indifferent to the services and technology provided by IT."
2. Improve end user support: Even with an ostensibly flawless BYOD policy and plenty of virtualized assets to support dynamic workflow, there are bound to be some bumps in the road to complete mobile integration, especially if you're tasked with overseeing a highly dispersed workforce. An article from RCR Wireless News recently recommended that you set up your IT shop in a manner similar to a consumer support center, as end users now expect the same level of service and immediacy to solve their personal device problems in the workplace.
"[Bring-your-own-device] and the 'consumerization of IT' continue to challenge many IT organizations but this doesn't mean there isn't relief," said Tracy Crowe, director of product marketing for NetMotion, according to the source.
3. Secure every single device: Developing a cybersecurity plan for your network is a no-brainer in this treacherous IT landscape, and you had better exercise the same granular scrutiny when deploying mobile software on end users' personal devices. Once again, virtual desktop infrastructure is a powerful tool in securing mobile environments, as VMs can be protected with similar encryption protocols when transferring data throughout the network. Just don't forget to educate end users on upholding best practices for password protection and safe Wi-Fi use.
4. Prepare for future change: There's always advancement on the horizon in the world of BYOD, so don't become stuck in your ways once you develop a functional mobile policy. RCR Wireless News suggested that focusing on the user experience is a good way to navigate changes, as worker feedback tends to be a good indicator of how service can be improved. It's also highly recommended that you observe how mobile devices are factoring into the overall performance of your network, addressing issues such as traffic bottlenecks and data leakage.
"Addressing the full spectrum of enterprise mobility management is often overlooked in favor of focusing on the immediate pain point of having to manage the plethora of personal mobile devices and applications that continue to flood the workplace," said Crowe, as quoted by the news source.
To harness the momentum of the mobile revolution in all its glory, it's also a good idea to team up with a dedicated solutions provider that knows the ropes.