Mobility and the Cloud: A Natural Match

When government agencies started to let their employees use mobile devices on the job, it may have been a nod to convenience. However, it has become increasingly clear mobility is a great way to improve productivity.

Yet while agencies have clearly become more accepting and even encouraging of mobile devices, incorporating them into the IT infrastructure and managing the additional security issues that surround them is complicated. Often, managing all this is too much for agencies to take on themselves.

As more agencies become comfortable with the cloud, simplifying and unifying these types of enterprise management processes in the cloud, or partially in the cloud, can make a lot of sense. One of the most effective ways to do this is moving to a cloud-based enterprise management system—one that combines enterprise mobility management (EMM), file sharing, secure voice, video and chat, and emergency communications systems.

The benefits can extend far beyond cost savings. For example, a metropolitan law enforcement agency was looking to achieve better visibility and more proactive law enforcement. It worked with a consultant to develop an app running on the BlackBerry Unified Enterprise Management (UEM) platform. The results are impressive. Not only is information available immediately instead of having to wait until the next shift gets around to entering information, but other process times have decreased. Daily statement filing time was cut from 90 to 45 minutes, recording reports for missing persons was reduced from 90 to 10 minutes, crime reporting went from 75 to 30 minutes, and recording of other incidents was trimmed from 30 to 5 minutes. The agency is also saving more than $1 million per month in productivity costs.

Find the Right Platform

Agencies will have to do a little homework to ensure they’re getting the most value out of an enterprise management system. They must ensure sure, for example, the solution works as well in the cloud as it does on premises. That’s especially important for agencies that continue to run some processes in their own data centers while moving others to the cloud.

The solution also should work on different cloud platforms, such as Azure and AWS, and integrate easily with existing data stores, collaboration suites and back-end systems. It should also work across all mobile platforms.

An easy-to-use management console can make managing users and functions much easier. The most intuitive systems let managers enforce policies by setting rules. There are many types of rules, from password restrictions to stopping users of certain devices from using the camera in certain specified situations. Rules can apply to individual users, groups, policies, compliance and app management.

Security, of course, is a critical factor. Besides complying with all government security requirements, an effective enterprise management system should provide full visibility and control for all mobile devices, desktops, and laptops, no matter what operating system or applications they are running.

“Simplicity and agility are key,” says Sinisha Patkovic, vice president for government solutions at BlackBerry. “Agencies’ needs change constantly, so being able to make changes to the enterprise management system quickly and easily to adopt those changing priorities is critical.”