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June 19, 2015

Personalization in Enterprise Mobility


By Ed Fox VP, Network Services, MetTel



The reigning trend in consumer technology? Personalization. From the wristband holding your wearable device to the speaking voice in your connected fridge, the next wave of technology is distinctly customizable. Consumers are hunting for products that are unique to their needs and interests. As we’ve seen time and time again, consumer trends will eventually expand beyond the B2C market, and into B2B territory. This puts the question on developers and CIOs minds—how has this growing desire for personalized experiences translated into enterprise technology?


One of the first places we’re seeing the personalization trend unfold is within the mobile space. From the devices employees are using, to the wireless networks themselves, we’re seeing a distinct movement toward customizable and scalable solutions. Here are three places we’re seeing personalization flourish in enterprise mobility:

The Devices

This trend begins with the physical devices themselves. Long gone are the days of standard-issue phones. Employers can now outfit their workers with a phone based on their day-to-day roles. For example, a construction company can provide field workers with more durable devices, while the office manager may need a device that can support a range of enterprise applications.

We’re also seeing personalization popping up in the way devices are issued. In the wake of rising security risk, the industry has begun to distance itself from the BYOD trend. Instead, many IT departments are looking at a CYOD approach—or “choose your own device.” This allows employees to rely on a corporate-liable policy, and pick a device that the employer can then outfit securely. Instead of being issued an unwanted device, employees can balance corporate data security and user experience in a CYOD policy.

The Software

Mobile device management (MDM) software is far from one-size-fits all. As the alphabet soup of mobile security evolves (MDM, EMM, BYOD, CYOD… the list goes on), enterprises need to be strategic in their choice of software. Simply reviewing the data security handbook no longer cuts it—businesses need to find a mobile device management solution that fits their specific needs. Factors like End Point security compatibility and Identity Address Management are adding to this personalization movement by dynamically allocating security profiles and levels of access based on a user’s current device and location. While data security is a universal need, compliance regulations are a completely different world and vary by industry. A healthcare organization needs HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards woven into their software, while a retail company may be more focused on PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards. 

The Networks

Image via Shutterstock

The industry is even seeing this personalization trend in the networks themselves. For businesses with geographically diverse locations, a standard issue network package doesn’t generally make sense. Companies that are catering to hundreds of retail stores can’t count on one network provider to deliver clear service and data packages that work across all locations. This is where we’re seeing IT teams choosing providers that offer cross carrier pooling and unified billing to best support personalized service to distributed employee bases. Service providers are now offering businesses a solution that can pull talk, text and data from multiple network providers, allowing companies to knit together a network that caters specifically to their needs. These providers are now able to provide quality managed access to cloud environments as well as managed Wi-Fi offload for the end users for a customizable approach to network management.

Everywhere

It’s clear that enterprise mobility is in the early stages of personalization. As we race toward a world of catered experiences and personalized technology on the consumer side, this trend will continue permeating throughout the workplace at a rapid pace. Where else will it pop up? We’re already seeing it in biometric data security, key cards that sense we’re approaching a building, air ventilation systems that keep the office at a comfortable temperate—from high-tech to mundane, the possibilities are endless. Beyond the typical environment we have discussed here, consider the latest attempt by Amazon to use private individuals to deliver packages to Amazon customers all managed by an app that they will install on their personal phones.  This is an extension of mobile personalization to “rented” employees that can even personalize their work experience!




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino
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