Case Study: Enterprise Mobility Management

Microsoft Intune Company Portal

Enterprise Mobility Management

Challenge

Managing the transition from blackberry to a multi-platform environment without losing the ability to secure devices.

Background

The organisation, a supermarket chain had recently allowed employees to use their own mobile devices to access the corporate network. In the past, the organisation had issued company owned Blackberry devices to employees, however, during an employee survey it was found that a significant proportion of the employees would prefer using their own devices.

Many of those employees already owned smartphones and some of their reasons for the preference are (not in any particular order):

  • They only want to carry one device.
  • They find it cumbersome having 2 chargers.
  • They find their personal mobile devices more user friendly

The BYOD bandwagon (well, we do not see anything wrong in jumping on a bandwagon; mimetic isomorphism can lead to organisational change) was also a key driver.

The Programme Manager (Executive Projects) said this:

If our employees are happier using their own mobile devices, why should we stop them. It makes no sense putting the  shackles on them. They are more likely to maintain and take care of their own devices than devices that are imposed on them. Our job is to ensure those devices are secure. The prism through which we view our responsibilities has to change.

Project

Our service was engaged to advise on how those mobile devices could be secured and also to conduct a proof of technology / concept. We had an enterprise mobility management project on our hands and we had to deliver. Our plan was:

  • Understand the mobile device mix in the organisation.
  • Understand if employees had plans to change their mobile devices in the next 24 months.
  • Understand the mobile device management / mobile application management solutions currently in existence.
  • Engage with the business technology teams in order to understand any knowledge they have in house on MDM / MAM solutions or if the team had been involved in any solution trials.
  • Engage with the business technology teams in order to understand how non-mobile devices are currently managed.
  • Present our findings and review solutions that will fit into the organisation’s technology solution.
  • Conduct a proof of technology.

Outcome

We looked at various solutions guided by: experience, Gartner’s publication (Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management), training requirements, resource availability in the marketplace etcetera. We also found very useful information in the Smackdown series from PQR.

Microsoft Intune was selected as the solution of choice (although, the other major solutions from AirWatch and MobileIron do have more functionalities and capabilities) for the following reason:

“Due to the organisation’s people capability in Microsoft technologies (the organisation is a Microsoft shop; it is exploring the use of Azure and Office 365, and has also recently implemented Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager 2012 R2), coupled with the ability to enrol Windows 8 /8.1 devices as mobile devices (the organisation will issue only Surface Pro 3 devices to executives who want a company tablet), Microsoft Intune was chosen. Microsoft Intune also supports Android and iOS devices.”

Our other recommendations include:

  • Create an iOS version of the expenses application and make it available for distribution through Intune.
  • Employees fear of being monitored if they enrol their devices (one of the discoveries we made in our survey) need to be allayed.
  • The organisation has to explore ways to be responsible for the mobile data bill ‘without falling foul of the taxman.’ Some employees do not have an ‘all you can eat’ data subscription.
  • There should be an incentive for employees to enrol their devices.

NHS Medical Records: Patient information and the “care.data” scheme

There have been several attempts by the UK government to create a patients’ information database. Those attempts have yielded resistance and uproar from those (patient groups, GPs) that will be impacted by the change. The first attempt had the following as its central theme: a centralised database; and all patients will be co opted in (so you have to opt out if you did not want your records). It was not a surprise that GPs were in arms against it (another case of not consulting with those that may be impacted by a change before implementing a change).

Those against the scheme argue the following incessantly:

  • Big brother society‘. It makes us susceptible to government intrusion in our privacy. Your employers may purchase your health records for malicious purposes.
  • UK government has a poor record on data safety. This group point to calamitous losses of data at government entities. Does anyone remember the lost disks saga at the HMRC? Also there was an HMRC employee who lost a laptop containing records of tax payers!

However, information security breaches are not isolated to government organisations. Home Depot and JP Morgan Chase have both been in the news recently for similar reasons.

Data theft and security breaches will not go away. They are issues we will continue to contend with as long as there are financial rewards from such activities (that is what motivates most of the unethical hackers. There are also cases of industrial espionage and many more which may not be directly linked to financial rewards). The more data we store electronically, the higher the probability of the data being stolen.

In order to mitigate some of the risks identified by those that will be impacted by the change, the government has taken a sensible option and done the following:

  • Removal of personal data from the data that will be stored. The government has made a commitment to removing any personal data from the information that will be stored.
  • Data storage in regional data centres. Instead of the original idea of having one central repository, the government is now thinking of multiple regional data centres.

Although, patients will still be enrolled by default, the removal of personal information from the records (if we believe and trust the government) does eliminate the ‘big brother risk’. In addition, the data (if stolen or if it fails into the wrong hands) cannot be linked to you. However, who will ensure or guarantee that some years down the line, the removal of any personal data from the record will be upheld? Will patients be given the privileges of a decision maker?

Furthermore the decentralisation (regional data centres) of the data warehouses mitigates the risk of having a single point of failure. One would hope that the system access credentials will not be the same across all data warehouses (it will be insania to have a federated directory service providing identity management).

Finally, if the data will indeed be anonymous data, it begs the question: who needs the information and what will the data be used for? Perhaps the data will be used to assess the state of health of a population at any point in time in order to plan health services in such locales. The pharmaceutical and pension industries may also find the data useful.

Managing identities in Office 365

After a couple of Office 365 engagements, I am interested to find out from other professionals the identity management solutions they use and if there is any reason for their choices (or if there is any specific issue encountered using those solutions).

Please share the poll with other professionals.

Phones 4U: When suppliers become competitors (“Bargaining power of suppliers”)

Phones 4U collapses into administration.  PWC has been called. This certainly does not make for savoury news especially with “up to 5,000 jobs at risk” in the run up to Christmas.  A few days after the announcement, the suppliers are being touted as potential buyers of some parts of the business – shops and stock.  Phones 4U has not stopped blaming the suppliers; the suppliers (EE & Vodafone) have turned around and blamed the owners saying “they had ladened the business with debt”.  The founder has also joined in the debate, blaming the suppliers!

Whatever your view points, whichever side you stand, whether you see Phones 4U as the victim, or you see the suppliers as predators or “barbarians at the gate”,  it is simply an industry with a lot of competition and Phones 4U could no longer compete. Phones 4U was swimming in shark infested waters and she had no defence to cope with the ‘onslaught of sharks’.

From the information that is available, what seems apparent is: there had been ongoing change in the industry and the suppliers had become competitors for a while (did Phones 4U not spot that!), however, what has suddenly changed is: they have now become more ‘aggressive‘ competitors. And why not? Why do they have to share their revenues with a 3rd party when they can sell directly to the customer?

Michael Porter in his seminal work on competitive strategy, “The five competitive forces that shape strategy” discusses the “bargaining power of suppliers” as one of the factors that should influence business strategy. Certainly, when you have 2 suppliers you are indeed at their mercy; when it becomes only 1 supplier, your whole business becomes endangered. If the supplier or those suppliers become competitors and you have no competitive advantage, you are probably waiting for the onset of myocardial infarction.

Porter’s five force analysis has been in existence for quite some time, so it is indeed amazing that the owners of the business did not foresee this, more so O2 (Telefonica) had decided to ditch Phones 4U not quite long ago. One could argue that perhaps 2 suppliers walking out simultaneously hardly happens, but would having only 1 major supplier i.e. either EE or Vodafone led to a sustainable business?

If the management of Phones 4U had been sensitive to the external environment, perhaps they would have exited and sold the business (a year earlier) before being forced out of business. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the competition in the industry.  All organisms, animals (including humans) and organisations have to adapt in other to survive, and go beyond adaptability in order to thrive.

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It does not matter whether you are the lion or a gazelle – when the sun comes up, you had better be running.”

Phones 4U did not outrun the fastest lion. The suppliers did not want to starve; they ran faster than Phones 4U. Phones 4U did not adapt and she becomes another casualty of the tough competitive landscape.

The blame culture: A silent killer of creativity

“To err is human”, so they say. So why do organisations and employees look for someone to condemn and blame whenever the actual outcome differs from the expected outcome? Why do people jump on the bandwagon of looking for the perceived “culprit” before understanding the reasons for the error? How much energy do organisations expend on understanding the issues and the reasons for the deviation in comparison to the energy expended on endless gossips even long after the event? What efforts do organisations expend on castigation of the employee involved in comparison to improving the process, the products and the people?

Whilst the purpose of the article is not to proffer solutions to the culture of blame and its impact on creativity, it is hoped that it will serve as a reminder to managers and decision makers of the impact on employees based on first-hand experience.

There are very few professional roles where creativity and innovation are not required. Although in a lot of organisations, processes and procedures are often documented in order for: repeatability, standardisation, to reduce errors, optimisation etc. However, no matter the level of documentation, there will be occasions where there is a deviation in the input which may warrant an employee to be creative and innovative. Whilst it is ok to follow processes and procedures that have been utilised umpteen times to the letter, the lack of creativity and innovation on the part of the employee carrying out such processes and procedures eliminates improvement.

The attributes of organisations and the attitudes of employees (with the consequences) where there is an insidious culture of blame are discussed below:

  • Lack of openness / concealment. The employees seem to be unwilling to disclose information. They are reluctant to question the status quo. Consequently, the organisation becomes stagnant.
  • Fear of deviation from process. The employees are paralysed by fear of outcomes, and in order to ensure the blame game does not enrobe them, they stick to their guns even when they know the procedures and processes are bound to fail. A common phrase you will hear employees repeat is: “I will do it as long as a document says so, even if I know the process / procedure is wrong.” Following processes to the letter is indeed mandatory, even more so in environments where safety is paramount e.g. aviation, nuclear industries etc. However, the phrase “even if I know the process / procedure is wrong” is the real cause for concern and worry.
  • Inefficiency. The levels of inefficiency in such organisations are really astounding. The processes and procedures are never really improved; continuous improvement is not a phrase that .is used in such organisations. No one is willing to take ownership and identify areas of improvement for fear of being the culprit if there is a failure.
  • Reduced staff morale. There is a general lack of sense of accomplishment for those employees who like to challenge themselves. The employees also tend to be dissatisfied, unhappy and unmotivated.

Although the elimination of the culture of blame from human thinking and human is almost unachievable, we can reduce the impact of the insidious culture in the organisation by starting with removing all references to: who did what; who did not do what; who should have done what; who should not have done what; during the root cause diagnosis.

In conclusion, creativity and innovation come with risk; mistakes will be made and there will be failures. If you want to kill creativity & innovation in your organisation, sow the seed of a blame culture and nurture it. #Innovation #creativity

Bring your own application (BYOA): Addressing the challenges

Recent research publications do suggest there is an increase in the number of employees using their own applications for work purposes. With so many publications discussing the ‘bring your own applications’ phenomenon but with many of them lacking any new insight or substance, it is no wonder that technologists and non-technologists alike look at the industry and find it befuddling.

Whilst the antecedent of ‘BYO’ suggests that BYOA will originate from an employee, the concept is not entirely new. Business units (mainly in financial services and institutions) have always devised ways of meeting their own business requirements by creating applications e.g. MS Excel add-ins, add-ons to vendor supplied applications etc. A recent publication suggests that [1]70% of organisations already have applications brought into the enterprise by employees.  Although the publication does not provide information on the number (volume) of employee owned applications as a percentage of total number of applications deployed in enterprises, it is not uncommon to come across up to 25% of applications within organisations that are not supported by the Technology function. Such applications are owned by either the business units or the employees, and mainly installed by the employees. The scenario is commonly encountered during operating system migration projects (it is the only time the Technology function sometimes does a total and end-to-end software inventory and audit of applications in use).

With the impending growth in BYOA according to research carried out by [2]LogMeIn, organisations must think through the potential challenges BYOA will introduce and provide a governance framework and structure to manage the adoption of BYOA in their organisations.

Some of those challenges and questions that arise as a result of this phenomenon are discussed below:

  • Fragmentation and Data Integrity.  When multiple users bring their own applications to work in order to process the same set of data, how would it affect data integrity? What is the impact of multiple applications on the defined business processes? How do other users within those business units who continue to use an application provided by the business access data contained in the user owned application? Will the data be shareable?
  • Security. Despite the application being owned by the user (it does not matter if it is a vendor supplied or user created) the same security considerations and governance framework you adhere to when procuring software should be adhered to. You do not want to wait until after a security incident to find out that the user owned application is a malware.
  • Support Cost. There must be an agreement with the user on how the cost of supporting the application will be handled. Who will pay for upgrades? Is the application still supported by the vendor? Does the user have a support contract with the vendor?
  • Process Deviation. Will the introduction of the application cause a deviation in the business process? How will this deviation affect other stakeholders?
  • Licensing. Are there specific terms and conditions in the licensing agreement prohibiting the use of the application for business purposes? Is it a single user, single device license?
  • Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity. Is the source media for the application available in the organisations’ software catalogue (it might be required to be re-installed in an emergency)?
  • Criticality of Service. The criticality of the associated processes needs to be defined. All interfaces into business processes that form part of a critical service need to be known and if a user owned application is being utilised to undertake any task, it is time to re-evaluate the user and business requirement.

These trends – consumerisation and prosumerisation will not go away; in fact some say it is [3]unstoppable. The technology savvy generation (generations Y and Z) are in the workplace and technologists cannot ignore their demands. Generation Z will even be more demanding than the generation before them. Technology service providers within organisations have to be forward thinking and become value adding partners to the business. This entails proactivity; it is time we loosen the [4]shackles we impose on the business in their drive for consumerisation and prosumerisation. Technologists in organisations also have to embrace the advisory function in order to remain relevant otherwise employees will continue to bypass them when procuring services (applications).

[1] LogMeIn. 2014. Managing applications in the age of BYOA: Reclaiming IT’s strategic role. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.logmein.com/byoa/byoa-report. [Accessed 04 September 14].

[2] LogMeIn. 2014. Managing applications in the age of BYOA: Reclaiming IT’s strategic role. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.logmein.com/byoa/byoa-report. [Accessed 04 September 14].

[3] CIO. 2013. Bring your own applications. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cio.co.uk/insight/devices/bring-your-own-applications/. [Accessed 04 September 14].

[4] TechRadar. 2013. ‘Bring Your Own App’: risks and solutions. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.techradar.com/news/internet/policies-protocols/-bring-your-own-app-risks-and-solutions-1162372. [Accessed 04 September 14].

Strategy consulting opportunity with a gym operator

Summary
A strategy consulting opportunity with a gym operator is available for the right candidate.

Background
My client, a gym operator is seeking to engage the services of a strategy consultant who can help the organisation on strategy formulation. The gym operator is operating in one of the most challenging industries with falling revenues, the rise of national budget operators, the rise of the pay as you go model, the rise of the health and fitness applications, various bootcamps from personal trainers, falling income, savviness of  consumers etc.

The last 3 years has indeed been very challenging for my client. My client is now seeking to review her strategy with a view to either repositioning herself in the industry or exiting the industry.

Deliverables
The right candidate will be expected to provide a strategic insight into the following:

  • Decline in membership. Is there a pattern or trend?
  • Impact of fitness and health applications on membership. How can these be harnessed in order to improve customer satisfaction? Has the influx of these applications had a “Uber” style effect on membership subscription, attendance and subscription?
  • Services / Products. What services and products can be introduced in order to arrest the decline in membership? Can we really differentiate ourselves by offering customisation? What will be the impact of customisation on our cost profile?
  • Pay as you go model. Is the pay as you go model a viable subscription model?

Candidate
This will suit a strategy consultant with retail, marketing, health or leisure industry experience. A freshly minted MBA with a strategy bias from a  top business school may also apply.

The engagement is expected to last a period of 9 weeks. Please state the cost of your services for the entire duration of the engagement.

Ineffective communication will kill your change initiative

Whilst there is resounding acknowledgement of the impact of communication and its criticality in the success of change initiatives, the actual implementation of effective communication continues to be a challenge during most change initiatives. Technologist and IT practitioners are particularly well renowned not to have those soft skills associated to communication; this is not to exonerate other professionals in other functions who sometimes may be the change agents or lead change initiatives where you may also have across communication challenges. However, my background is mainly technology, therefore, my world view will be influenced by my background and experience i.e. technology, although, I am consciously aware of those views and I am able to extricate them from my articles.

Many researchers – Beer & Einstant (2000), Elving (2005),  Peng & Litteljohn (2001), Palmer, Dunford & Akin (2009), DiFonzo & Bordia (1998), Bruch, Gerber & Maier (2005), Clampitt & Berk (1996), Fox & Amichai-Hamburger (2001)whom have investigated the relationship between successful change initiatives and communication, have noted how critical and important it is to get communication right during periods of uncertainties which is an attribute of most change initiatives.

Most change agents and change sponsors also now recognise the criticality of  communication but despite the acknowledgement and recognition, why does it remain extremely difficult to effectively communicate during change programmes?Fox & Amichai-Hamburger (2001) opined that there must be recognition by the message deliverer to be aware of the emotional realms of those receiving the messages. My experience from various change initiatives really backs the aforementioned argument. The interpretation of a message by the hearer is influenced by a lot of factors. In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), it is widely stated that the “meaning of your communication is the response you get“.  Whilst a “fire and forget approach” to communication may be required when broadcasting messages during change initiatives, it will hardly achieve anything.

Although, I do not have answers and no management practitioner or researcher will claim to have answers that can help you completely eliminate ineffective communication, there are ways in which you can increase the effectiveness of your communication in order to simply simplify the complexities of your change initiatives therefore removing  one of the key barriers to success.

Some of the ways in which you can achieve effective communication with references are listed below:

  1. Measure the results of communication: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Discover-Performance-Blog/Best-practices-for-effective-communication-for-organizational/ba-p/5515197#.UoipfhBFeW4
  2. Be honest even when the consequences were possibly negative –  http://www.change-management.com/tutorial-communications.htm
  3. A communication is complete only when the receiver has integrated, understood, and applied the message. – See more at: http://changeleadersnetwork.com/free-resources/six-faulty-assumptions-about-change-communications#sthash.X9xzTFS2.dpuf
  4. Collaboration is very important – http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/organization/what_successful_transformations_share_mckinsey_global_survey_results
  5. Feedback loops should not be underestimated – http://www.bcg.com/expertise_impact/Capabilities/People_Organization/Change_Management/ExpertInterview.aspx?interviewId=tcm:12-25685&personId=tcm:12-10493&pt=U2VuaW9yIFBhcnRuZXIgJiBNYW5hZ2luZyBEaXJlY3Rvcg==&practiceArea=Change%2BManagement
  6. Communication is both outbound and inbound – http://www.boozallen.com/media/file/138137.pdf.

Changing technology without a change in process: No wonder it failed

Change initiatives and programmes are renowned to fail fifty percent of the time. Several massive information technology change initiatives in the largest of corporations have failed; examples abound of such failed change programmes, from the £12.4 billion NHS IT programme, to the Department of Work & Pensions, to other large private & public enterprises who are constantly changing their IT suppliers due to the failure of those suppliers to deliver on the goals set out at the beginning of such initiatives.

Although there are several reasons why change initiatives fail, but one common theme with changes that are technology led is the reluctance of the organisation to change some of their business processes despite knowing that the new technology may not fully support their business processes. One question you might like to ask is “why is there a change in technology when your business process is not ready for change?”; one other statement I have heard countless times is “business goals and processes should drive the adoption of technology and not the other way round”.  It is noteworthy to appreciate that sometimes change is enforced due to technology obsolescence and that organisations may not have any other choice than undergoing change,  despite the pains of change.

It is not difficult to know organisations that are transfixed on keeping business processes the same when a technology led change should ideally lead to change in some business process. Some of the metaphors in use in such organisations are as follows:

  • Lift and shift
  • Like for like
  • Same features and functions

Some of those organisations also expend an extensive amount of resources (human and financial capital) tweaking and customising the technology solutions to align with business processes, which most times lead to project delays.  Such organisations fail to realise that existing business processes would have evolved over time in order to effectively and efficiently utilise the underlying technological solutions, and a new technological solution might also require some time in order for the stakeholders to become proficient users.

The article is not suggesting all technology led change initiatives should translate into changes in the business process, as every change is unique, however, the article is suggesting that organisations should take a holistic approach to technology led changes and there should be no holds barred discussion areas.

Finally, undertaking a change readiness assessment may provide you with the opportunity to have a more in-depth understanding of how technology change will affect your business processes.

For more information on how to plan for a change readiness assessment when planning a technology led change initiative, do not hesitate to contact the author of this article. He and his team can help your organisation transition smoothly when undergoing a change process.

Arsenal: A victim of success?

Doz & Kosonen in Fast Strategy (2007) stated “most companies die not because they do the wrong things, but because they keep doing what used to be the right things for too long…”. The authors also state that “successful companies often become victims of their own success: when their business matures, they find it impossible to renew themselves.  To regain and maintain growth they need to learn to thrive on change and disruption”.

Arsenal as a football club being managed by Arsene Wenger experienced “tremendous success” as a trophy winning club in the years from 1996 – 2005, however, the trophy cabinet has been empty for quite a while. Fans have bitterly complained about the lack of trophies and some have even advocated replacing the manager; quite harsh I must say.

There is no debate about the influence of Arsene Wenger on the Arsenal and the English premiership. He revolutionised and changed how football was played, how footballers were managed and how players can play into their thirties through the introduction of scientific approaches e.g. nutrition to football management.

The Arsenal case is a classic example that fits into the “trap of success” as described by Doz & Kosonen.

So what has happened?

Prolonged period of success: Arsenal as a team enjoyed a fairly prolonged period of success, winning the English premiership league title or finishing in the top 2 year-in, year-out for a quite a while. The club enjoyed successes winning 2 double titles during the period 1996 – 2005.

The method that was used in order to achieve those successes can be summarised as “buy young, hungry and athletic non-British footballers” who were not as expensive as their British counterparts and integrate them into the existing team. The approach worked at the very beginning, but this “young, hungry and athletic non-British footballers” integrated into a core of existing British players who formed the back four and the goal keeper and these new players stayed on for quite a while. In addition, it could be argued that the only real competition at that time was Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.

Success Syndrome: Arsenal’s strategy has not evolved despite the rapid changes in the external environment. Despite the massive change in the competitive landscape as a result of Roman Abramovich’s investment in Chelsea and in recent times by Manchester City’s newly found wealth, Arsenal remains dogged and transfixed on the strategy that had worked in the trophy winning years of Arsene Wenger.  This behaviour which can be described as conservative, arrogant and complacent with a total focus on “self” is characteristic of organisations that have become a victims of their own successes.

Organisations that fail to realise there has been a change in the competitive landscape resort to “codification” i.e. let us just do more of the same; it worked in the past, so let us improve the “efficiency” of our operation. What seems particularly strange about organisations in such mode is the lack of recognition that when the goal post shifts and moves in a game of football, the strategy has to change, otherwise you become disadvantaged playing the game.

Outcomes: The outcomes can be seen –  the lack of titles, lack of motivation amongst the playing staff, persistent justification of failure, disgruntled customers and fear of innovation.

Will Arsenal continue to do more of the same and enter the “death spiral”?

Overall, it is a very competitive environment and the lack of “unlimited” financial resources which the likes of Man City, PSG, Chelsea, Monaco and to some extent Real Madrid, Anzi Makhachkala, Barcelona etc. seem to possess have limited what Arsenal can do in the marketplace.  However, it is important to understand that this article has only used the customers’ expectations i.e. winning and winning of more trophies as a measure of success and has not considered the owner’s (board’s) vision and mission, therefore, it could be argued that the move from Highbury, the change of ownership, the balance sheet etc. are all indicative of a successful organisation.

Whatever your measure of success, it is very important to identify and understand the source of your revenue and assess the potential impact of the loss of those revenues, especially if customers have been disgruntled for years. It is time to keep the customers happy, even if it is for a short while, otherwise “the death spiral” may be accelerated and change will have to eventually come and it will be more painful.

Perhaps it is a time for a deep and incisive strategic review of the organisation and if the purpose of the organisation is “to be competitive whilst developing young talents without breaking the bank”, no one should begrudge the organisation. There has to be an alignment of the organisation’s strategy to the mission…so change your mission statement and vision if your strategy will not change, and the fans may come to accept a top four target as a successful season.

Enteprise mobility management: The last frontier in enduser and endpoint management

IT executives and managers like control; since the very early days of computers, executives and managers have preoccupied themselves with being able to control and secure access. Can anyone blame them for this preoccupation; in fact, with the growth in attacks and the number of bad guys looking to steal corporate data (information) there is indeed more justification for this preoccupation.

With the explosion of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops; watch out for other IoT devices that will start connecting to corporate networks soon) and their use in the enterprise, managing those devices constitute a new paradigm.

Gartner has an excellent paper on “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management Suites”. The attached whitepaper takes the work further and discusses the implementation of the solutions, comparing and contrasting the solutions. The whitepaper will be useful for those mainly interested in a proof of technology (POT) or proof of concept (POC).

Note: Only vendors in the “LEADERS” quadrant of Gartner’s (June 2004) publication are included in the whitepaper. The vendors are: MobileIron, AirWatch, IBM, Good Technology and Citrix.

The great guys at PQR have also updated their smackdown series; you will find one for enterprise mobility management.

Effective error management

The concept of error management is not new, however, the financial crisis of 2008 which can be attributed to a catalogue of persistent errors has unwittingly resurrected the interest of management researchers in this field. Professor Kathleen Sutcliffe defines error management as “the prevention of a crisis and not the prevention of errors”. It is widely acknowledged that mistakes and errors cannot be totally eliminated, however, handling those mistakes correctly when they occur may be the difference between organisations that will succeed and those that will fail.

How is your organisation handling errors? Do you panic when errors occur? Do you know the experts to defer to when errors occur? For answers to those questions and many more, read “Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty“.

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