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Guest blog: Managing IT services in a mobile landscape

Chip Salyards | Nov. 20, 2012
Organisations that try to resist the trend of employees bringing their personal devices will miss numerous business opportunities.

Chip Salyards
Photo: Chip Salyards, BMC Software.

In my last article, I mentioned the importance of a user-friendly front-end IT interface in order to accommodate and empower a new generation of tech-savvy, mobile employees who are now entering the workforce. This generation feels at home with technology and gadgets like mobile devices.

The use of smartphones and tablets has become a crucial part of today's business practices. Recently, Gartner predicted that by next year mobile devices are going to overtake personal computers as the most common web access tool. This, along with an earlier estimate by research firm IDC that by 2015 there will be around 838.7 million mobile users in Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, confirms that mobile devices are going to be an important tool for business.

Organisations that try to resist the trend of employees bringing their personal devices—be it smartphones, tablets or both—will miss out on the numerous business opportunities that a mobile workforce can bring about such as lower operation costs, quicker response time, and a motivated, productive workforce. Despite this, many organisations are hesitant to adopt or expand on their corporate policies on personal devices in the workplace. They point out several valid concerns: security, support, and operations capabilities of their IT departments.

A blooming IT Service Management market
Currently, the IT Service Management (ITSM) market is replete with solutions that address the concerns of organisations as they feel the pressure of adapting their corporate policies to the emerging technology trends.  For example, BMC's Remedy IT Service Management solution provides businesses with a platform to integrate and automate their IT systems and processes in order to create a more efficient infrastructure for back-end support.

Deploying an ITSM solution alone, however, will not suffice as such solutions are also changing because mobile technologies are in a state of churn as new and emerging technologies take centre stage. In such circumstances, there are a few things that IT departments need to keep in mind as they embark on upgrading their back-end capabilities to efficiently support the business goals of their organisations:

1. "Always-on" capabilities
In a mobile world, organisations are expected to be online at all times. Downtimes and unexpected outages can have tremendous impact on business reputation and affect revenue. Employees also need to be online and available to their clients at all times. Therefore, they expect prompt IT support from helpdesks as soon as they encounter problems, like inability to access corporate applications or data.

Lack of quick responses from the back end creates mistrust among employees and IT departments, and often users take matters into their own hands and find alternative ways of troubleshooting their problems. This poses external security threats, which might ultimately lead to a compromise of sensitive data.


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