Welcome!

Security Authors: Gilad Parann-Nissany, Paige Leidig, David H Deans, Colin Lacey, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Wireless, .NET, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, Security

SOA & WOA: 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Has Mobility Rendered Your IT Organizational Structure Out of Date?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
SYS-CON Events announces a new pavilion on the Cloud Expo floor where WebRTC converges with the Internet of Things. Pavilion will showcase WebRTC and the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices--computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridsto...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, will discuss how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, senso...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., will show what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and tec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TeleStax, the main sponsor of Mobicents, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TeleStax provides Open Source Communications software and services that facilitate the shift from legacy SS7 based IN networks to IP based LTE and IMS networks hosted on private (on-premise), hybrid or public clouds. TeleStax products include Restcomm, JSLEE, SMSC Gateway, USSD Gateway, SS7 Resource Adaptors, SIP Servlets, Rich Multimedia Services, Presence Services/RCS, Diame...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that O'Reilly Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
As a disruptive technology, Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), which is an emerging standard of web communications, is redefining how brands and consumers communicate in real time. The on-going narrative around WebRTC has largely been around incorporating video, audio and chat functions to apps. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Alex Gouaillard, Founder and CTO of Temasys Communications, will look at a fourth element – data channels – and talk about its potential to move WebRTC beyond browsers and into the Internet of Things.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gigaom Research has been named "Media Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, will also lead a Power Panel on the topic "Choosing the Right Cloud Option." Gigaom Research provides timely, in-depth analysis of emerging technologies for individual and corporate subscribers. Gigaom Research's network of 200+ independent analysts provides new content daily that bridges the gap between break...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Swiss innovators dizmo Inc. launches its ground-breaking software, which turns any digital surface into an immersive platform. The dizmo platform seamlessly connects digital and physical objects in the home and at the workplace. Dizmo breaks down traditional boundaries between device, operating systems, apps and software, transforming the way users work, play and live. It supports orchestration and collaboration in an unparalleled way enabling any data to instantaneously be accessed on any surface, anywhere and made interactive. Dizmo brings fantasies as seen in Sci-fi movies such as Iro...