Mobile devices like phones and tablets are a cornerstone of modern business, providing access to important corporate assets to employees who are outside the office and delivering much-needed versatility to organizations that rely on a wide range of business-critical applications. The right system can transform mobile devices into powerful tools in the fight for efficiency and productivity. However, the sheer volume of strategies, vendors, software and hardware can make a successful mobile deployment seem impossible.
Fortunately, NetMotion has been in the mobile space since 1998 and we’ve been involved with (literally) hundreds of mobile deployments; we’ve seen what works and what doesn’t work. Based on years of experience, here are five tips that any sized organization can use to build a successful mobile deployment.
1) Run a Proof of Concept
The proof of concept stage is an important part of any IT project, yet some organizations skip it in favor of speeding up the timeline. But the PoC needs to demonstrate that the mobility project actually solves the intended business problem. Including this step will ensure buy-in from all of the stakeholders as the project moves to the next steps or encounters setbacks.
2) Deploy Devices in Phases
Map out a scalable plan and start with a small pilot to address unknown variables as they are exposed. Simply deploying an entire fleet of devices before bugs are ironed out could set back the project tremendously if there’s even one little “I hadn’t thought about that” moment.
3) Focus on Minimum Touch and OTA
A mobile deployment of more than a few devices quickly becomes unwieldly from an IT perspective. Consider technologies that allow device enrollment and configuration (with presets) over-the-air, centralized control and inventory management, and network security customization. MobileIron is one popular solution.
4) Monitor Bandwidth and Usage Closely
An issue we have occasionally seen in mobile deployments is with devices using substantially more data than anticipated. In the best-case scenario, the device simply bogs down the local Wi-Fi network, but in the worst-case scenario, cellular data costs skyrocket. To avoid these issues, make sure to closely track data usage in the early days of the pilot to better understand how and where to make adjustments. Tools like NetMotion Mobility that provide traffic shaping and policy enforcement can prioritize business-critical traffic while restricting YouTube traffic, for example.
5) Be Open to Changes
Don’t just consider the possibility that the configuration will need to be adjusted, consider the fact that it definitely will need to be adjusted. Regardless of the amount of planning and preparation that went into the deployment, build extra time (and budget) into the rollout to account for changes. Making sure that this unknown is still being accounted for will keep all of the stakeholders at ease and keep the project on track.
6) Focus on the Employee Experience (Bonus Tip)
If your mobile deployment features the latest devices and blazingly fast connectivity but the apps crash all the time and the security posture is too restrictive, employees won’t adopt. Make sure to consider how the end user will derive value from the device, because the system is most powerful when everyone is embracing it and leveraging the platform to achieve their goals.