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BLOG: Managing mobility

Stevan Hoyle | Jan. 20, 2012
Here’s are some tips on how to manage mobility for MNCs in Asia.

Mobility has changed the way people work. Businesses around the world are discovering new growth opportunities created by mobilising their workforce. Remote working benefits the enterprise by driving greater productivity and higher operational efficiencies. This in turn delivers a more responsive service to customers and greater employee satisfaction because of an enhanced work/life balance. 

However, historically, multinational corporations (MNCs) have faced the constant challenge of having total visibility over their communications spending. The increase in mobile working, coupled with an explosion of popular devices and applications in the workplace, has made the issue of control more challenging - technically, culturally and in terms of policy management. 

The challenges are even more critical in Asia where it is economically, socio-culturally, politically and geographically more diverse as a region. A key to success in Asia for MNCs includes having a mobilised workforce empowered by connected devices that ensures crucial information across the region is shared quickly and efficiently, therefore enabling more informed business decisions.

This increase in efficacy brings with it the challenge of managing day-to-day operations for CIOs. Apart from managing security and integration, CIOs now have to keep a watchful eye on spiralling costs for roaming and data access for example. What they need is for the management of company-wide mobility services to be easy, efficient, predictable and transparent.

A recent survey by Ovum found that global enterprises rated managed mobility as a very high priority. A key concern of MNCs in the region includes international roaming costs, cost management and security. They also cited the integration of mobile voice with corporate PBX services, mobile unified communications and mobilising data applications as emerging priorities.

Managing costs is the No. 1 priority

As enterprises struggle to maintain growth amid the economic slowdown, there is increasing urgency for them to rein in expenditure, particularly the cost of mobile communications. About 95 percent of global enterprises in Asia indicated the need for a centralised billing system and cost analysis tools to manage communications expenditure as their top priority.

Craving for better security

Like cost-effectiveness, security is also a serious concern, with almost 90 percent of MNCs ranking this issue as critical. The workforce of global enterprises are exposed to different networks across Asia, from the mature markets of Japan, South Korea and Singapore to the huge growth markets of China, India and the emerging markets of the Philippines and Vietnam. As employees access corporate networks from various devices across these markets, the risk of losing confidential corporate information increases.  Global enterprises must have a strong mobile communications governance policy that can be implemented across markets.

Developing such a policy usually involves creating and enforcing rules and regulations that cover a wide number of concerns. These include issues such as how often employees need to change their passwords, what software needs to be installed on employees' mobile devices and how strong a company's firewall should be. Having a complete overview of such critical issues will ensure that an enterprise network remains protected while optimising sensitive internal data in a secured environment. Again, putting such a policy into practice requires deployment of a comprehensive managed mobility suite with flexible security options.


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