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Reimagining Enterprise Mobility – Part 2

In the Part 1 of this series, we discussed how Mobility and flexible workstyle investments are so integral in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Operating Systems. Today I'll talk about the additional layer of services which are essentials in delivering successful Enterprise Mobility Solutions in an organization.

Identity and Access – With the emergence of Public Enterprise Cloud Applications like Safesforce.com, Dropbox, Jive, Amazon and more and of course Microsoft Services like Office 365, OneDrive for Business and Yammer,  more and more organizations are now adopting public SAAS (Software as a Service) applications instead of writing their own LOB applications. When Organizations right their own LOB applications they mostly integrate it with Active Directory to avoid having multiple credentials and identities inside the organizations of an employee.  Users access these LOB applications using a single credentials in the form of Active Directory domain User and Password which is the same for logon to their PCs and other systems.

Public Cloud SAAS applications often comes with their own Identity Services and then it creates a huge problem of having multiple Identities and credentials for each applications. So as an employee I would be using one credentials to access Internal Applications and different credentials for External SAAS Applications. Things gets worst when there are multiple SAAS applications you have to work with.

There is a strong need of an Hybrid Identity which allows you to have consistent persona inside your organization and outside with public SAAS Applications. So I should be using the same credentials to access Internal LOB App to raise my expense report and same credentials to access Salesforce.com. This concept of Hybrid Identify will also enhance users productivity as they don't have to manage and remember multiple credentials.

For IT team, it would be easier for them to manage one user credential and enables streamlining of provisioning and granting access to different applications depending upon users persona, roles and responsibilities in the organization.

Modern Device Management – As employees are now bringing their own devices and accessing internal & Enterprise Cloud applications and carry sensitive information in those emails, apps and files, there is a strong need for doing some basic device management of personal Devices. Since its BYOD and Personal Devices, organization may not be looking at putting in-depth restrictions on those devices like blocking the camera or SD Card but pushing some basic security policies like PIN and password policy should be Okay. It should be reasonable to expect that devices on which corporate data is residing it should not be naked (without PIN/Password protection) which anybody can pick and start interacting with the device, Apps and data on it.

With Modern device management its also important that Employees has all that on their devices which makes them real productive on the Go for e.g Native LOB Apps for Devices, VPN Profiles, Email Profiles, Corporate WiFi profiles etc. All these and more can be automatically provisioned on the device as and when they enrol their device to access corporate applications.

In Corporate Owned Devices which are given to employees to do specialised tasks, Organization may want to have more control on the devices like disabling the camera, SD card, Access to browser etc.

Information and Data Protection – BYOD and enabling access to corporate applications and data on personal devices does boost employee’s productivity but it does pose acute threat in leaking and lost of those sensitive, confidential data to wrong hands. In a successful Enterprise Mobility strategy Information and Data protection is a strong requirement. Often with the solutions available in the market, data security solutions are often really restricting  which in return reduces flexibility, user experience and employee productivity.  there is a need to strike the right balance with protecting the data on personal devices at the same time keep user experience and productivity intact.

In the next post, we’ll talk about how Microsoft is catering to these critical services over an above the investments in the Operating Systems.

Stay tuned and Cheers !