Click here to close now.


Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Marc Crespi, Pat Romanski, Mike Tierney, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Mobile IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, Cloud Security

Microservices Expo: Article

Has Mobility Rendered Your IT Organizational Structure Out of Date?

The impact of enterprise mobility on day-to-day business operations

To say that mobility is affecting the way enterprises do business is akin to suggesting the planets revolve around the sun. These are not unproven theories, they are undisputed facts. However, while the modern model of the solar system was established long ago, the effects of enterprise mobility on business practices have only much more recently become overwhelmingly apparent.

From interacting with customers to improving employee productivity, mobility - in particular, the use of smart mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets - has proven its mettle as an effective business tool. In fact, a Symantec survey found that many companies are going all in on mobility, with 59 percent of respondents reporting that they are now making their line of business applications available on mobile devices. An even more impressive 71 percent of businesses are looking at implementing a customized corporate "app store" just for mobile applications.

However, for all the benefits of mobility there are clear and present challenges associated with the technology as well. In the same survey, nearly half of the organizations that responded - 48 percent - said they see enterprise mobility as "somewhat to extremely challenging." As a consequence, mobility in general is requiring significant effort to manage. Indeed, an average of 31 percent of IT staff at the organizations surveyed is involved in some way with mobility.

All this begs the question - why are companies finding mobility to be so challenging? There are numerous point answers to this question. These include dealing with employee demand to use personal devices for work and the need to support a fractured market, made up of many operating systems and device manufacturers. However, all these lead back to one overarching reason companies are struggling with mobility: most enterprises are trying to implement mobility while otherwise leaving their IT organizational structure unchanged.

In other words, companies are trying to fit the management and security of enterprise mobility into their existing IT organizational chart. This traditional structure has been well suited to managing PCs and laptops for the past 20 years, but just as Galileo's now famous telescope rendered the notion of a geocentric solar system - or one in which the earth is at the center of the solar system - archaic, so too has enterprise mobility rendered the traditional IT organizational infrastructure inadequate.

To better understand why this is the case, consider the segments that make up a typical traditional enterprise IT organization:

It all begins with a chief information officer. Under the CIO are a number of teams such as network operations, desktop or endpoint operations and application development and deployment. Working in parallel to the CIO is the chief information security officer. Under the CISO, the endpoint security team develops policies and puts technology in place to effectively secure the company's information.

Where does enterprise mobility fall? Regardless of whether we are talking about company-owned or personally owned devices, the answer, unfortunately, is into the gaps between these groups. The very nature of modern mobile technology causes it to span across the traditional IT boundaries.

For example, the desktop or endpoint operations team must be involved with managing mobility because, after all, at the end of the day we are talking about endpoints. However, mobile devices rely on a high degree of connectivity to the network and the cloud, much more so than traditional endpoints. Thus, the network operations should have a say as well. At the same time, mobile devices are nothing without the apps that make them so productive. The application development and deployment team is also in the mix. And we cannot forget that the endpoint security team must be involved to enforce mobility-related security and compliance policies.

In reality, what is happening in most organizations is that no single group is being given charge over mobility, because each plays a part in the mobile environment in some way or another. Even when one of the above teams is given responsibility to oversee mobility, that particular group typically has vastly different priorities than the others that must also be involved. The result is a lack of efficiency and cohesiveness when it comes to enterprise mobility. Or, in other words, the result is nearly half of companies finding mobility to be "somewhat to extremely challenging" as the survey discussed above concluded.

What is the solution? The companies that are most successful at implementing mobility have adapted their overall IT organizational structure to meet the demands of mobility, not the other way around. This begins with a chief mobility officer who operates side by side with the CIO and CISO, or alternatively a director of enterprise mobility who reports directly to the CIO. Either way, under this individual is an enterprise mobility group with the sole mandate to implement, manage and secure mobile technology.

Such an enterprise mobility group oversees all aspects of the mobile environment, from the devices to the apps to the connectivity. This team also enforces CISO-developed policies. There are a few recommendations for developing and operating such a group that are nearly universally applicable. These include:

  • Think strategically when building the organizational model. An ad-hoc enterprise mobility team is not the answer and will only result in partial success. To be highly effective, enterprise mobility groups need to be organized strategically. An organizational model for the team should include details on how to resource the group and the specific mandate or charter they will operate under. In addition, it should also cover the particulars on how they should approach the challenge of overseeing the company's mobile initiatives. This includes the technology and tools - such as mobile device management and mobile application management - they should use, how to segment the user base and identify the needs of each segment, how to implement scalable solutions, how to plan for centralized management and how to phase in integration with existing technology and networks.
  • Involve line of business decision makers. To make an enterprise mobility team successful, business stakeholders must be given direct access to the group's leadership. Doing so will ensure that the policies and strategies the team develops and implements are in line with what those that have feet on the ground actually need. Many companies struggle to achieve the full return on investment possible through mobility because they do not have a clear understanding of what they are trying to accomplish when it comes to mobility.
  • Make improving the user experience a primary goal. Enterprise mobility is a complex topic, but it all boils down to one thing: user productivity. Thus, the user experience must be a focus of the enterprise mobility group. Every facet of the mobile user experience must be accounted for, from on-boarding to app delivery to access and data manipulation. It's all about helping users work smarter and making personal and business activities coexist as seamlessly as possible. Related to this is defining and measuring a new mobile service-level agreement that the team will be held to. It should include users' ability to access to data and apps quickly, the use of a wide variety of platforms and the capability to access data from anywhere.
  • Keep the lines of communication open. One of the worst things that can happen once an enterprise mobility group is created is to allow the team to operate in a vacuum. As previously discussed, mobility crosses over the various divisions within a traditional IT infrastructure. As such, it is imperative that the enterprise mobility group maintains a close working relationship with the rest of IT. It will be difficult for them to effectively do their job if they do not.

It is important to realize that many companies are exploring how they can best take advantage of and streamline mobility. The companies that figure out quickly the benefits of creating a dedicated team to manage enterprise mobility will have a significant advantage over those that do not. In addition, it is important to note that regardless of how far down the path of enabling mobility a company is, it cannot be guaranteed that employees are not already using mobile devices for business. By establishing a team to oversee this use, companies can make sure it happens on their terms.

In short, one doesn't need to be an astronomer to see the impact enterprise mobility can have on day-to-day business operations. Creating a dedicated enterprise mobility group is the next step in maximizing these benefits.

More Stories By Jon Kuhn

Jon Kuhn serves as Director of Product Management for the Enterprise Mobility Group at Symantec, responsible for the mobile security and management products and services. In his role, he focuses on both the enterprise and service provider routes to market, building solutions for on-premises, cloud and carrier deployments. Jon more recently served as Director of Core Security, responsible for Security Suites and Mail & Web Security product lines.

Prior to Symantec, Jon led the product management and marketing teams at SonicWall, a network products and services company and leader in the network security market. There he was responsible managing all aspects of program management and marketing with full P&L ownership. Jon joined SonicWall through the acquisition of Ignyte Technology, a IT consulting company where he was a founding member. With over 14 years in the IT industry, Jon has held a number of roles in product strategy, sales engineering leadership and managed teams in both business and technology consulting.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, will provide an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
Electric power utilities face relentless pressure on their financial performance, and reducing distribution grid losses is one of the last untapped opportunities to meet their business goals. Combining IoT-enabled sensors and cloud-based data analytics, utilities now are able to find, quantify and reduce losses faster – and with a smaller IT footprint. Solutions exist using Internet-enabled sensors deployed temporarily at strategic locations within the distribution grid to measure actual line loads.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, will explore the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
There will be 20 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet soon. What if we could control these devices with our voice, mind, or gestures? What if we could teach these devices how to talk to each other? What if these devices could learn how to interact with us (and each other) to make our lives better? What if Jarvis was real? How can I gain these super powers? In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, will show you!
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...