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In the first post of this blog series, we discussed how Government/Public Sector enterprises are the laggards in the mobility race. This week we'll take a further look at some of the challenges that come from lagging behind and some of the benefits that come from embracing mobility.

 

Security

Agencies often try to prevent data leakage and unauthorized use of mobile devices by creating rules and policies with severe punishments for offenders. But as history shows, rules that go against the grain of an otherwise socially accepted behavior become unenforceable over time. Up to 66% of millennials use either unsanctioned mobile devices or devices that are not sufficiently supported by their organization's IT department for work purposes (Source). For this reason, IT departments should embrace the mobile movement and not hide behind the wall of regulations that require high levels of data protection when going mobile. By endorsing this, IT departments can provide better data protection and properly monitor the use of mobile devices for work.

Forrester Research notes that few organizations properly segment users according to their mobility needs and respective security profiles. The result is that "80 percent of employees work under security and management policies that are too restrictive, and 20 percent of workers don’t have access to the mobile power and features they need". (Enterprise Mobility for Dummies)  Enterprise Mobility Management software is readily available in the market. Why not use it? For more information on this topic, check-out BusinessWeek’s White Paper, "Looking Beyond Mobile Device Management to Enterprise Mobility Management" (free with registration) [and yes, SAP has solutions available today: SAP Afaria, for mobile device and application management, SAP Mobile Documents, for managing mobile content, and SAP Mobile App Protection by Mocana, to secure apps with encryption on managed or unmanaged devices].

Despite the fact that governments are lagging behind in the mobile revolution, they should not go mobile solely because they feel it is required. Agencies should keep in mind what is best for them. However, as governments experience budget constraints and the need to cut spending, it is essential for them to look to technology for all the help it can offer.

 

Enterprise Mobility - An Advantage for Government

Increased productivity is a reoccurring theme in the mobility revolution and the numbers speak for themselves. "Survey data taken from 240 enterprises suggest that [overall], the use of mobile apps designed specifically to help employees get their work done, increased productivity by 45%. Furthermore, the data reveals that operational efficiency rises almost as much (44%) when enterprise apps are made available," said Andrew Borg of Aberdeen, a consultancy, in a briefing cited by the iPad CTO.  

A survey of 260 travel experts conducted by the University of Applied Science, Heilbronn, Germany, found that the “use of mobile technology can increase productivity of business travelers by 30-50%”. Additionally, CIO Survey on Enterprise Mobility found that "Improved employee availability, better customer support, and enhanced communication are the other key benefits. Reducing operational costs, however, takes a lower place on the benefits list, clearly indicating that organizations value productivity over mere cost savings.”

So what does this all mean? Agencies should explore the benefits that going mobile could bring and fully embrace the mobile wave, when appropriate, as a means to increase employee productivity.

Check back with us next week for a discussion on mobility in public security and field services.

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