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Don't make mobility projects harder than they need to be

BOSTON — When it comes to enterprise mobility, IT’s job isn’t to enable remote access to as many business functions as possible, it’s to help the organization set reasonable goals.

Here at the VMware User Group User Conference, one of the sessions homed in on why it’s so important to manage the scope of a mobility project.

Users often say they want to access any application, on any device, at any location, but in reality, they probably have something more specific in mind, said Alastair Cooke, a VMware consultant and trainer, during his presentation titled “Real Mobility: AirWatch, Horizon Workspace and View.”

It’s the responsibility of IT to figure out what users actually need and how the organization can implement the proper mobility services to meet them. If IT doesn’t plan a mobile initiative around a specific use case, time and resources might go to waste providing services that go unused.

“Controlling that scope is important in any organization,” Cooke said.

To explain how companies can manage mobile project goals, Cooke took attendees through a past deployment he’d worked on. A customer wanted to provide users with virtual desktop access and Web apps on Apple iOS, Google Android and Microsoft Surface devices. Most importantly, it needed a deployment that would keep data secure over untrusted Wi-Fi connections.

Cooke took that information and developed a strategy targeted at the mobile use case: use AirWatch for mobile device management and access control, Horizon View 6 for virtual desktops and Remote Desktop Session Host apps, and VMware Workspace Portal to provide a unified interface for application access.

Those tools can help IT address users’ needs by offering them access to specific applications – while still maintaining IT control. AirWatch provides a platform for IT to enroll and manage mobile devices under a bring your own device program, whether they’re running iOS, Android or Windows, all in the same console. Workspace Portal allows IT to set up its own enterprise app store, through which it can deliver and secure virtual applications.

Enterprise mobility management deployments present enough challenges without IT making it harder on itself, so the next time somebody asks to use any app on any device, anywhere, make sure to ask a few questions to help pave a clearer path toward efficiently and securely providing the apps the organization actually needs.