Because enterprise mobility management is becoming more and more important to business operations, but is not yet a business differentiator, it may seem that it would be a good candidate for outsourcing. Working with a Managed Mobility Services (MMS) provider can lower the cost of mobility management and relieve IT leaders of some of the burden.
Guest article by Sam Ganga, Executive Vice President, Commercial Division, DMI
Gartner estimates that the worldwide number of corporate-liable and individual-liable devices to be placed under management by external service providers will grow by more than 75% this year. Is this model right for everyone? Here are key aspects of
enterprise mobility management to keep in mind:
- Many tools, many changes: The BYOD trend has led to thousands of employees already using their own smart devices to access corporate email, networks, data and applications, whether they’re managed or not. Building in-depth knowledge of all of these hardware and management tools, including devices, OSes and MDM variations, is beyond most IT department capabilities. On top of that, there are dozens of solutions available for managing devices, mobile apps, telecom expenses, app stores and more. And all of these systems are being introduced and upgraded at an incredible pace.
- A dearth of experts: It’s always a scramble to fill a slate of internal experts for a new technology, since few have the needed expertise. Building a team from scratch often comes at a higher cost for the enterprise than outsourcing. It is estimated that the per-device cost incurred for in-house mobility management is about 40 percent higher than that for managed services.
- Maximizing the team: You may be able to build a team that can master dozens of operating systems, platforms and management systems – but can you use your team efficiently? If you’re supporting just a few thousand users and devices, you may be paying for expert knowledge and a support infrastructure that’s only being used a fraction of the time. Managed service providers, with established service centers, have the systems in place and volume of activity to maximize the use of everyone on the team—no waste makes for a lower management cost per device.
- Nonstop support: Scalability comes in handy here. Many enterprises would be hard-pressed to offer a 24x7x365 support team with adequate breadth and depth of knowledge. A well-established service provider should offer this coverage as a matter of course.
- Managing fluctuations: Can your team respond rapidly to unplanned-for and cyclical changes in devices, OSes and related technologies? What about provisioning and deployment requirements for mobile devices? A managed service provider can help you keep up with fluctuations in your business’ and users’ needs.
- International support: For enterprises with operations and employees spread all over the globe, building business support for their devices can be extremely challenging and costly. However, a fully staffed mobile service center can handle the load more efficiently in combination with other clients.
Key Questions to Ask an MMS Provider
With these considerations in mind, many enterprises choose to outsource their mobility management. These key questions will help determine if a provider checks all the right boxes.
- Is their service scalable?
A managed service provider may seem like the perfect fit for now, but how about future growth? Mergers and acquisitions? Does the service provider have the ability to support you on a global scale? Are they well-versed in the legal, security, privacy and governance requirements that vary from country to country? This is especially important if you’re supporting BYOD users.
- How does their actual service record compare to their Service Level Agreements (SLAs)?
Carefully review your MMS provider’s current SLAs, and ask to review performance records. Do they meet or exceed their SLAs, or do they fall behind?
- Is their service as deep as you need?
Take the time to do some research here. Ask your MDM vendor what kind of relationship they have with the managed service provider. Do they have the breadth of capability to keep up with your growth? Do they just manage devices, or can they take care of the whole mobile device life cycle? Can they provide a higher level of service for VIPs? A few managed service providers actually build and manage mobile application solutions as well as offer managed mobility services. If you need to field and manage mobile applications, you’ll want to consider the advantages of integrated management and security for apps as well as devices.
- How does the service ensure great service delivery?
Reliable service providers will have put stringent quality controls and processes in place to ensure that service and security are maintained at the highest levels. Look for key quality measures like ISO certifications and other well-recognized industry standards.
- Does it take a village to provide the service?
Some MMS providers must partner with other service providers to deliver the deep expertise and global coverage promised. For a more seamless experience, and to ensure that your users, devices and infrastructure are being managed well, try to find a service provider with the bench strength to support your company’s needs organically.
To Outsource or Stay In-House?
The mobile environment seems to change daily as employers and employees discover new ways to work and rely increasingly on mobile technologies. Enterprises must make the decision about whether to manage mobility services in-house or hand that function to an external provider.
Organizations that choose to outsource mobility management are able to focus on core functions and create more value. They also stand to save money. Ultimately, the question is: what will best serve your company and users?
For more on the topic of mobile management, read the Aberdeen report The Increasing Costs of BYOD
Sam Ganga, Executive Vice President, Commercial Division, DMI. Under Mr. Ganga’s leadership, DMI’s Commercial Division has developed the world’s most comprehensive set of Mobile Enterprise Solutions, including mobile strategy, mobile managed services, mobile app solutions and integrated vertical solutions for retail, financial services and healthcare. The group has more than 500,000 mobile devices under management, and has developed more than 400 mobile applications in the last 12 months. DMI Commercial Division also offers Big Data Insights solutions that provide better insight, for better decisions, and better performance to leading Fortune 500 companies. Prior to joining DMI, Ganga was the founder and President of Leverent Consulting, a professional services company that provided technology solutions to commercial and government clients.