Use a mobile POS device and you’ll delight a shopper for a day. Use a mobile-driven omnichannel strategy, and you can create a loyal shopper for life.
A few years ago, mobile devices were only a “line-busting” technology, equipped with a card swipe and barcode reader that allowed sales associates to check out customers from any spot in the store. But in 2015, the role of mobile devices in retail has matured – they’ve become an extension of the brand and a major component of a retailer’s omnichannel strategy.
Today, mobile devices unleashed in bricks-and-mortar stores can enhance data collection, extend the aisle to include every product in the warehouse, show customers targeted and specific advertising, and transform your sales associates into personal assistants. Here’s how. Continue Reading…
What happens when two tech giants come together? A new era of networking and integration.
On Aug. 31, 2015, Tim Cook and John Chambers, the respective CEOs of Apple and Cisco, announced a partnership that creates a fast lane for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps.
“iOS is the world’s best mobile platform, and nearly every Fortune 500 and Global 500 company today has put iOS at the center of their mobile strategy,” said Cook. “iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done. Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love.”
Before the digital ink was dry, questions about the partnership’s ramifications were being asked in IT departments around the world. What does the partnership mean to customers? What implications does it have on the broader market? How will other ecosystem partners be affected? Continue Reading…
Phones and tablets have become ubiquitous workplace tools. As such, employees demand access to all the content they need to do their job wherever they might be. And while that’s good for productivity, it can be trouble for security.
If your organization is like most, you have an on-premises solution for content management, but might not have a system in place for when the data is accessed from a mobile device. And if your organization fails to offer adequate access, workers turn to consumer sync and share services — one in five use these services to store and share corporate documents in the cloud, according to a recent Forrester survey. While these solutions are convenient, they lie outside of IT control and expose companies to a number of data security threats.
Five years ago conversations revolved around mobile device management (MDM) as organizations equipped their employees with smartphones and tablets. Now it’s time to talk about mobile content management (MCM) and how to secure corporate data accessed from those devices.
Some organizations might have MCM as part of their MDM solution but aren’t using it. Others have no MCM, and their IT departments are forced to play catch up on data security threats. If you haven’t yet implemented an MCM solution, it’s time to assess your needs and see how they match up to some of the top enterprise-grade options available. Continue Reading…
Bring your own device (BYOD) has slashed hardware and maintenance costs and fueled mobile productivity at companies large and small, and adoption is accelerating. Gartner estimates that by 2020, 45 percent of organizations will be all BYOD, while 40 percent will offer a mixed program, and only 15 percent won’t have any BYOD program in place.
But while BYOD can be a positive policy for numerous industries, it’s not going well for all organizations, especially those that have ignored the potential hazards associated with the policy.
Last year I discussed two unexpected consequences of BYOD, but since then the risks have expanded as available technology diversifies and new mobility demands arise. Here are five additional pitfalls of BYOD environments, and how organizations can avoid them: Continue Reading…
There’s an app for just about everything. But until recently, few companies designed apps for their own employees. The focus has long been on consumer apps that build brands or generate revenue. But over the past couple years, a clear shift has become evident. Organizations are now building apps as internal tools designed to better equip their mobile workforce.
Through these apps, enterprises are offering essential and consistent functionality for their business by adapting desktop applications to the mobile realm to increase employee productivity on personal devices.
If your organization is debating developing an internal app, it’s important to understand what you want to accomplish. There are a few different options for developing an internal app, and like Goldilocks, you want to find the choice that’s just right. To ensure an app will meet your needs, define your company’s requirements and segment your users before starting the process.
Knowing what functionality is most crucial to your mobile workforce will help narrow down the best app development path for your organization. Here’s a guide to the three main methods of creating internal apps, including the pros and cons of each approach, how to implement it, and the best vendors to turn to for help. Continue Reading…
There’s no denying or avoiding the proliferation of personal mobile devices in the workplace. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2017, half of all employers will require employees to supply their own devices. This forecast is based on a global survey of CIOs that found that 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016.
For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), BYOD is a no-brainer, as it eliminates overhead and often reduces service and data costs. However, it also introduces a lot of unknowns into a company’s IT environment that few companies are equipped to manage.
Organizational supervision of personal mobile devices in an IT environment is lacking. Only 37 percent of SMBs are managing or plan to manage these devices using a mobile device management (MDM) solution. Without MDM, companies with a BYOD policy in place are at risk for security breaches, data leakage, and the financial losses associated with both.
If your business doesn’t yet have an MDM solution in place, it’s time to find one. Here are four best practices for managing the personal devices in your organization that will help you implement a formal MDM strategy: Continue Reading…
Today marks the official launch of SHI Mobility Services. I say “official” because much of SHI Mobility Services is based on work we’ve been doing for our customers for several years, and now we’ve brought together the complete suite of hardware, software, and services needed to create an integrated and customized mobility solution that meets any need. This is a big move for both SHI and our customers.
The way people look at mobility has changed drastically and quickly. Four years ago, BlackBerry was growing by leaps and bounds, as it fit the need for a tightly controlled enterprise mobile strategy centered on email. Then we gradually started to see companies buying more and more Apple iOS devices, followed by an explosion of interest in Android devices. Email is still important, but mobile is now more about apps and access to information.
SHI Mobility Services reflects this change. SHI still offers BlackBerry, because we think that they remain an important player, but SHI Mobility Services goes across platform – Apple iOS, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry – to provide a completely customized mobility offering for our customers. And it’s not just mobile devices, but also the hardware, software, and services needed to plan, implement, and manage mobile in any size organization. Continue Reading…
A study by B2B International recently highlighted the slow adoption of mobile device management (MDM) software. It revealed that only 11 percent of the companies surveyed had an MDM solution in place to ensure those employees with mobile phones and tablets are complying with corporate security policies. This tells us that even though the entire industry is talking about bring your own device (BYOD) programs, very few companies are correctly implementing them.
According to Gartner, this problem will only grow in the coming years, as the BYOD trend shows no signs of slowing down. Shortly after the B2B International study, Gartner predicted that over the next five years, 65 percent of enterprises will adopt an MDM solution. However, the B2B study suggests that companies aren’t embracing the challenge of securing corporate data on mobile devices.
Our experience in working with SHI customers integrating mobile devices into their enterprises show the accuracy of both of these studies — MDM adoption is slow despite heavy BYOD use.
The IT departments I talk to recognize this problem and want to manage their devices, but they’re having problems determining which solution is best for them. They don’t want to spend money on one solution, only to find out six months later it wasn’t the right fit.
The problem lies within the industry. There’s so much noise that people are becoming confused. There are hardware solutions for BYOD, and there are software solutions. Some solutions are touted by big-box security companies, while others are from no-name, angel-funded startups. Without the proper education, companies don’t know which solution to choose, and the problem falls to the wayside.
So today, I’d like to share the top-five pieces of advice I give my customers to help them pick the correct MDM solution for their organization: Continue Reading…
It wasn’t long ago when mobile device management was a pretty simple matter. You outfitted your teams with BlackBerrys, you went with a BES solution, and the world was a wonderful place. Then along came Steve Jobs with the iPhone and changed the game for everybody.
Once the iPhone was released, Android and Windows Phone soon followed, and users started streaming into their organizations with all manner of smartphones (much to the chagrin of IT admins everywhere). And let’s not mention tablets. As any IT leader will tell you, all but the BlackBerry were unmanageable in the early days of the emergence of the mobile enterprise.
That’s the bad news. The good news: Over the past few years the landscape has changed, and dramatically so. The mobile device management (MDM) space has become very competitive, with more than 100 different mobile device management vendors in the game to date. While this certainly provides a great deal of choice for the buyer, it dramatically increases the complexity for IT leaders who have to sift through myriad offerings to find the solution that fits their organization. Continue Reading…
BYOD is a good thing for organizations both in and outside of the IT industry. People who bring their own device to work might drastically slash the cost of maintaining and refreshing every employee’s machine. Because the employee owns the item, the manufacturer’s warranty usually takes care of repairs. The problems generally begin when organizations try to figure out how to secure it.
Security is viewed as the biggest problem with BYOD. However, BYOD has brought a lot of other unexpected consequences to the forefront, for everyone from the CIO all the way down to the IT managers. Today, I’ll outline the top unexpected consequences of BYOD, explain SHI’s approach to combating those issues, and go over some tips for customers who are trying to implement an effective BYOD strategy in their organizations.
- Securing hundreds of mobile devices. The explosion of the iPad and other mobile devices has caused a major issue for employers. The last time I counted, there were over 100 new tablets added to the market over the past few years. People bringing their own device into the work environment are allowing company data to reside on their devices. With that comes the risk of employees losing their phone, which automatically puts the company at a huge liability. The solution to this is to employ a mobile device manager (MDM). Once installed on a device, it can remotely wipe all the company-owned data from mobile devices.