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Contributor Columns on Information Technology and Security

Putting Your Data to Work: The Power of EMM and BI in the Modern, Mobile Workforce

The number of apps developed and published continues to grow at an explosive rate on a daily basis, thanks to continued investments in the app ecosystem and the app developer community – including Apple’s recently announced strategic partnership with IBM, Apple’s App Extensions feature, and the introduction of new iOS and OS X apps programming language Swift.

The number of apps developed and published continues to grow at an explosive rate on a daily basis, thanks to continued investments in the app ecosystem and the app developer community – including Apple’s recently announced strategic partnership with IBM, Apple’s App Extensions feature, and the introduction of new iOS and OS X apps programming language Swift.

As the App Store continues to become more saturated, it is vital that IT teams keep up with discovering, deploying, updating and supporting these apps. In order to properly manage devices and applications in today’s modern, mobile workforce, enterprise organizations must apply an integrated, extendable, and user-focused inventory with the right mobile device management (MDM) solution.

MDM is just one of many acronyms flooding the enterprise mobility industry today. BYOD (Bring your own device), COPE (Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled) and MAM (Mobile application management) – the list goes on and on. Of course, the buzzwords aren’t what are relevant here. What is important is the technology – and even more important, the people who use it. The focal point in enterprise mobility is the user, and the user is often underserved.

IT departments have traditionally been leaders in bringing new technology to organizations, and the App Store has introduced a paradigm shift - contributing to the rise of shadow IT: the practice of incorporating apps outside of the company network without explicit approval. The challenge here is that many of those individuals in shadow IT are not trained on how to deliver IT services in an efficient way and lack the right tools to do so, leaving the majority of users in the dark about what applications they should use and how to get support – inevitably creating inconsistency across organizations.

This abundance of apps being used in the enterprise today has paved the way for the most important trends that enterprise mobility management will see in the coming years – trends associated with apps and analytics. We see this happening with very large business intelligence (BI) investments in schools and businesses, and again, in the Apple/IBM partnership.

Enterprises can better navigate challenges presented in today’s modern, mobile workforce by using the right balance of enterprise app management and analytics, and leveraging the inventory of enterprise mobility management (EMM) and BI solutions. With these technologies, organizations can gain better visibility into their environments to better understand how the technologies in their environment are being used to achieve success.

The vast inventory of device management solutions available today allow enterprises to learn about what technologies are being used by who, when, how and where. Technologies like wearables might even provide some insight into why. With BI tools, we can aggregate data from many different systems to learn about an individual person. If we map success attributes about a person to their use of technology, we can find a solution to this problem prevalent across enterprise organizations.

When a new person joins an organization in a specific role, with a specific background, and within a specific demographic, why not show them the apps that others with the same attributes are using to achieve success? When a new app becomes available that our most productive users start to use, wouldn't it be nice for IT to have the capability to discover it immediately, evaluate it, and seamlessly promote it to the larger population? What if IT had the ability to discover all of the technologies that their most productive users use immediately and distribute it to the rest of the organization as soon as they were able to support it? Wouldn't it be great if IT had tools to deliver this kind of service?

They are already there. And device management will play a big part in helping us all achieve better outcomes in the future.

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 JAMF Software (www.jamfsofware.com) creates comprehensive enterprise management software for the Apple platform, simplifying IT management for Mac, iPad and iPhone. With Casper Suite, JAMF Software helps over 4,500 businesses and schools management 4,000,000+ devices across the globe.

 Jason Stanaland is an IT professional with a decade of experience specializing in systems architecture design, IT service management, and execution of information technology-related projects. Prior to joining JAMF Software as a product marketing manager, Jason spent nine years at Emory University as a mobile messaging applications administrator.

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