by Ian Schenkel, CEO with EuroSmartz
It was clear Apple was on to something when it opened its app store in 2007, with over 10 million downloads in the first weekend. However, some sceptics still doubted the longevity of apps, many suggesting they were just a fad. Today, mobile apps are no longer confined to just the smartphone. Tablet devices have joined the category and have gained widespread popularity. It’s no longer the early adopters who are using mobile apps and keeping their lives organised with mobile devices. Now it’s busy commuters, corporate business executives and small business owners alike, who are embracing the convenience of mobile apps to run their daily lives and accomplish tasks on the go. Some small businesses even use apps to help them run their business.
As a result, mobile working is impacting the workplace like never before.
It’s become increasingly common for people to bring personal mobile devices into the workplace, enabling them to work remotely, off-hours, and in new innovative ways – thanks to the devices and their apps.
“Some organisations are going as far as to create their own app store”
Popularly known as BYOD (bring-your-own-device), the prevalence of people using their personal mobile devices in the workplace certainly increases productivity.
Equally it is also the bane of existence for a many employers and IT managers, who are concerned about security.
Most employers are happy to have their employees using mobile devices and productivity apps as part of the job – after all, that’s a good thing, right?
The answer is yes, as long as the use of these devices doesn’t compromise the security of the company.
IT managers need an effective way to ensure devices are secure; software remains universal; and therefore work is transferrable from employee to employee and device to device.
And what better way to do that than with the right apps – apps made for business, otherwise known as ‘enterprise apps’.
Many believe that 2013 will be the year enterprise apps finally take centre stage.
With the rise of business’ security concerns, enterprise security is going to centre on the enterprise app, through which companies will be able to control the manner in which employees access information on their mobile devices and therefore maximising security.
For example, enterprise apps can be tethered to a location or network for security, or can exist solely in the cloud.
Therefore, not permitting file and document downloads to the device which prevents sensitive documents going missing in the event of a stolen or lost smartphone/tablet.
Instead of banning BYOD or ridding the workplace of mobile devices, enterprise apps facilitate security so that companies can enable this type of working – thus keeping up with innovation and evolving productivity trends.
Companies know that they need to innovate to keep up with new business and technology trends, but they must do so carefully and with attention to proper security, so that no confidential company information is compromised.
One way of doing this, is to control what apps users can download and some organisations are going as far as to create their own app store.
The advantage of an enterprise app store is that apps can be configured before they are downloaded, and you can create blacklists or whitelists of apps for specific users.
IT then has a single point from which to manage the provisioning and decommissioning of apps and the implementation of security policies.
Although enterprise apps clearly offer benefits in terms of security and function, there are also real business benefits to be had.
For example, in the space of just one fiscal quarter, Intel saw 640,000 emails sent from employee’s mobile phones, which it calculates as creating an average of 51 minutes extra productivity per day.
BT has also demonstrated an increased level of productivity since implementing its BYOD policy with 42 per cent of employees saying their efficiency and productivity have risen.
With such findings becoming the norm, it’s clear that mobile working and enterprise apps are here to stay.
The first few years of mobile apps were all about the consumer; now it’s business’ turn to shine.
Ian Schenkel is CEO and Co-Founder with EuroSmartz. Ian has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry with extensive senior business management experience. Ian has a successful record of creating and implementing growth strategy on a regional and global level. Prior to co-founding EuroSmartz , Ian served as VP EMEA for Protegrity where he more than tripled sales and revenue growth of the EMEA organisation. As Managing Director of EMEA with AirMagnet, Ian successfully quadrupled both the size of the EMEA organisation as well as the revenue by implementing a highly successful marketing and distribution strategy. Previously Ian has also held various senior positions with Sygate , Netegrity and Concur.