Mobility Strategy for INS Corporation
Altexsoft (2018) reports that a 2012 study by Forrester established that more than 67% of the employees chose their smartphones for personal use without any form of corporate guidance. However, as organizations transform and embrace more interconnected technologies, a complementary study by McAfee reports that approximately 80% of the employees use unapproved SaaS applications at their workplaces. The unapproved use of personal devices at work highlights the lack of enterprise mobility strategies that could enable these organizations accommodate ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) arrangements. McKeen and Smith (2015) emphasizes the need for mobility as it promises regulated and authorized access to all the operational levels of an organization. Mostly, introducing a unified management software is a strategic move towards effective management of corporate devices and BYOD. Guided by this backdrop, this paper details a mobility strategy for INS Corporation. It elaborates on a framework for planning and implementing secure mobility applications and systems. Additionally, it describes how INC can select and adopt EMM/MDM system to meet its growing mobile security needs. The document further outlines how INC can change some processes in the current IT infrastructure and services.
Mobility Strategy for INS Corporation
The pressure to work remotely, as part of the flexibility working arrangements, have forced firms such as INC to consider strategies to mobilize their corporate systems. According to GHS (2019), both employees and customers demand modernization of the backend operations to ease access using mobile devices as opposed to desktop units. In response, INC should understand that mobility systems have transitioned from mobile optimized websites, to static informational apps, after which the organizations had to embrace dynamic self-service apps, and currently, most organizations are creating intelligent apps that enable content-driven recommendations. This is evident with apps such as Siri and Google Now which offer recommendations to users based on an intelligent analysis of their behavior. The transformation to intelligent apps has had significant impact on organizational efficiency especially in customer service while also enabling employes to balance flexible working and workplace productivity. Considering these dynamics, INC could pursue these mobility strategies to effectively use BOYD.
The first strategy is to understand the goals and drivers. The first process is to evaluate and understand the vision, goals, and objectives of the business. The information collected during the evaluation process could touch on the short and long term goals and objectives of the firm. The information will define the scope of the mobility goals to be set for the organization. In addition, the IT expert should consider the transformational drivers such as budgets allocated to mobility as well as the innovation goals that touch on IT systems. All these factors will influence the mobile strategy formulated by INC Corporation.
The second strategy is performing an industry and competitive assessment of INC Corporation. The assessment of the rivals and nature of industry will expose data about the weaknesses, threats, strengths, and opportunities. Data on activities of rival firms will help identify their strengths and weaknesses. Such data is important in evaluating options for the mobility system and also, analyzing the effectiveness of their mobility systems and how it contributes towards creating a superior value proposition. McKeen and Smith (2015) add that assessing the industry is equally important since it identifies best practices and innovative solutions created by the leading firms. Sacolick (2017) clarifies that the competitive analysis needs to focus on business size and competitive scope, competitor’s mobile strategy, and competitor’s mobile apps. On the other hand, the industry assessment has to factor that growth trends and market focus, disruptive forces, industry innovations, and mobility growth.
The third mobility strategy to be adopted by INS Corporation is to identify use cases to facilitate mobilization. This stage of the mobilization process requires that the IT department identifies and analyzes diverse uses of mobile technologies and how it contributes towards the core lines and functions of the business operations. The analysis also helps in identifying functional areas that can be mobilized. This strategy acknowledges that organizations such as INS Corporation could have multiple use cases that could be improved by adopting mobility. Similarly, it is important to identify use cases specific to INS Corporation that should be mobilized. The process of identifying these use cases entails engaging the leaders and employees across the various departments in detailed discussions that probe their uses of mobile devices and how best to enhance their connectivity and mobility. The discussions are quintessential in uncovering new ideas and solutions. Sacolick (2017) emphasizes the necessity of engaging in discussions since it enables the IT experts to identify specific needs that when satisfied, could contribute towards unique solutions that create competitive advantage for the INS Corporation. Some of the use cases for INS include identifying the lines of business which are; provision of insurance services to diverse sectors such as life insurance and property insurance.
The mobility system could be made to include educational opportunities where the users can gain training and educational materials In addition, this tab could have provisions for announcements. The third tab on the line of business could have philanthropic activities. This section is important in attracting pro-environmental customers. The key functions under philanthropy tab could include donations, scholarships, event tracking, and field sales. Apart mobilizing the line of business, INS Corporation could mobile its business functions by providing a tab for HR activities such as employee hiring, employee directory, and a section for the management. Likewise, there is need for a section to market the services provided by INS Corporation. This section could focus on mobile and digital marketing through customer relationship management.
After identifying the different use cases, the fourth strategy will entail evaluation and prioritization. To create a distinct impact on INS Corporation, it is important to mobile all the opportunities identified. The process will involve balancing potential benefits with the costs. High (2014) describes this activity as a cost benefit analysis whose function is to weight the proposals for use case against associated risks and costs. For instance, it is important to factor the cost of developing, securing, implementing, and training the employees on how to effectively use the applications. It is also important to acknowledge that mobilization will not be adopted at the same time. However, it will be implemented in stages while evaluating its usefulness, until the whole organization is covered. In the case of INS Corporation, all the use cases have to be tabulated into a matric like table with the x axis representing cost of ownership, while the y axis represents business impact. A useful matrix that could be applied by INS Corporation is shown in figure 1 below. The key factors to consider when evaluating business impact include; business growth, productivity improvement, improved services to customers, and enhanced analytics. Cost ownership factors to consider include development and licensing costs, training and support costs, maintenance, and upgrade costs, and application complexity.
Figure 1: Matrix for prioritizing use case (GHS, 2019)
The sixth mobility strategy is finalizing the process of technology stacking. This strategy entails evaluating technology vendors providing mobility frameworks. Sacolick (2017) proposes that the vendors are identified based on a detailed criteria. In the case of INS Corporation, the vendors need to be evaluated based on capability and business assessment. Under the capability assessment, some of the attributes to consider include their legacy enterprise data, enterprise system integration, service orchestration, security, compliance, and audit trail, performance and scalability, offline sync and caching, analytics, social connectors, end user experience, development platform, notifications, crash reporting, 3rd party integrations, app management, device management, content management, identity management, and IT architecture among others. On the other hand, their business assessments needs to consider elements such as deployment model, licensing model, overall price, support model, existing skills in the company, years in business, customer references, customer service charter, and customer case studies.
The seventh strategy is to define the roadmap and implement the mobility system at INS Corporation. This step of the implementation process entails performing the actual task of executing the mobility plan in accordance with the roadmap. INS Corporation has to formulate a timeline prioritizing its goals, deadlines, and departmental needs among other factors. The IT expert can then create a governance structure and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to be realized. These two elements will be important in defining the execution of the project. In addition, there is a need for a budget that has to be approved by the top management and finance director at INS Corporation. These are the positions responsible for apportioning and facilitating access to financial resources. It is important that the mobility strategy is accommodated in the financial budget of INS to prevent any financial challenges that could slow down the project and deter it from realizing its goal. A prioritization order for the mobility project for INS Corporation is summarized as follows. The first step is defining the overall timeline, defining the KPIs, creating a governance structure, allocating teams and budgets, and getting started.
The eighth strategy is developing and deploying the mobility applications. High (2014) outlines that the apps should be developed in compliance with the roadmap and execution plan for INS Corporation. The development of mobility applications will follow a standard procedure which begins with planning, designing, developing, and launching the application. After launching, data will be collected on the functionality and usefulness of the applications. This data can be used to guide future improvements to optimize mobility. In addition, the data is important in guiding future decisions on issues related to mobility. The activities captured under this strategy are
summarized in figure 2 below.
Figure 2: Process of Developing and Deploying Mobility System (GHS, 2019)
The last strategy is supporting and enhancing the applications to meet the changing needs of the organizations. According to High (2014), implementing mobility systems is not an end to the digitization process. In fact, it only markets the beginning. INS Corporation needs to constantly review the system to fix issues and also upgrade to meet changes in operating systems of the devices, increase in user volume, fixing bugs, and other improvements to enhance efficiency of the mobility system. Some of the important steps associated with this strategy include installation of updates, tracking analytics on the usage of the mobility systems and application, and diagnostics.
Selecting and adopting MDM / EMM system to meet security needs
It is important to ensure that the MDM/ EMM system is secure and tamper proof. Zahadat et al. (2015) propose the use of end-to-end security strategy. This strategy ensures that only the authorized persons access the system. This means that the EMM and MDM have to be enhanced with features that identify users (Bhattacharya, 2014). This includes password and other biometric identification features that limit unauthorized access. INS Corporation also needs revised security policies that safeguard the organization and its mobility system against illegal access. The policies should not only be addressed to the use of the applications and the BOYD but holistically to the whole organization. As the firm explores emerging mobile-oriented services namely APIs, there is need for enhanced backend integration to safeguard transactions between the customers and back-end servers. Bhattacharya (2014) laments that mobility exposes organizations to threats namely SQL injections. This is an attack caused by malicious and unauthorized SQL data query statement when they are inserted into the field of data entry in a manner designed to exploit the inherent weaknesses in the application (Zahadat et al. 2015). To further enhance security, it is important that INS Corporation introduces security measures for securing the associated services and mobile apps. This includes using trusted and reliable vendors for its legacy systems.
Altexsoft. (2018). Enterprise Mobility Management: Models and Solutions. Retrieved from: https://www.altexsoft.com/blog/cloud/enterprise-mobility-management-models-and-solutions/
Bhattacharya, A. (2014). Seven Steps to Create an Unbeatable Enterprise Mobility Strategy. Retrieved from: https://www.infoq.com/articles/creating-an-enterpise-mobility-strategy/
GHS. (2019). How to Create an Enterprise Mobile Strategy. An HGS Digital Whitepaper.
High, P. (2014). Implementing World Class IT Strategy: How IT Can Drive Organizational Innovation. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., http://wiley.com
McKeen, J. & Smith, H. (2015). IT Strategy – Issues and Practices, 3rd Edition. Pearson, http://pearsonhighered.com
Sacolick, I. (2017). Driving Digital: The Leaders Guide to Business Transformation through Technology. AMACOM, http://www.amacombooks.org
Zahadat, N., Blessner, P., Blackburn, T., & Olson, B. A. (2015). BYOD security engineering: A framework and its analysis. Computers & Security, 55, 81-99.