Are You Grounding Your Cloud Technology? As the market for third-party apps has both boomed and diversified, we haven’t always kept up with it. Many IT departments are still trapped in a cycle of gatekeeping legacy apps, long after our most out-of-the-box employees have struck out on their own, seeking apps that will help them do their best work more efficiently. App wrapping drains IT’s time and budget, and wrapped apps affect usability and garner user complaints.

It can be hard to wrap your head around the future beyond app wrapping. You may be aware of cloud technology data and security solutions like VMIs and cloud ID services, but what other considerations are there? Let’s talk a bit more about the whys and hows of moving to the cloud.

A key factor when it comes to enterprise mobility? The IoT. Let’s face it, when we picture cross-platform management, most of us think about phones, tablets and laptops. But any plan to secure your data has to include wearables and other devices as well. That market is expected to expand to a total value of $3 billion and over 10 million units this year. We may visualize Apple watches and fitness devices, but the scope of wearables is expanding, and they stand to revolutionize the way many jobs are performed.

You also need to think about your device scenarios. Do you have a bring your own device policy? Do you issue devices that are enabled for personal use, or are they business-only? These situations may differ or even overlap at different levels in your company, and all are relevant to your security needs. For example, if devices will be accessed for personal use, you’ll have to think about your employees’ privacy in addition to your organization’s security. There are multi-operating system platforms that can handle this, but make sure you’re clear on your scenarios so everyone’s on the same page when you’re developing your solution.

With such a broad spectrum of apps out there, how do you decide which ones to adopt and optimize? It helps that your employees are essentially doing rounds of beta-testing for you, but are you able to leverage that data? The IBM MobileFirst QA tool is one example of a solution. This tool compiles user reviews from major app storefronts, enables in-app bug reporting for all your users, and monitors crashes, among other things. This enables your team to develop a solid knowledge base from which to make decisions, and optimizes your time.

If all these wrinkles are causing you to hesitate, keep in mind that business is increasingly mobile-first. For example, your best avenue to attract talent may be to offer flexible working conditions, or telecommuting. That’ll require EMM solutions. And mobility is shaping up to be a determining factor in consumer interactions as well, from a vendor at the farmer’s market who uses a payment square to diversify payment methods, to deployed employees who require GPS data or barcode scanners to perform core responsibilities.

With some attention to these considerations, your cloud-based security will enable a more agile workforce—and business model!

Visit the AAJ Website for more information on securing cloud technology