Has your IT organization caught up with the explosion of enterprise mobility yet? Basic mobile device management just isn’t enough anymore—as our chief security strategist Kurt Roemer says, “MDM by itself can’t provide the security granularity and flexibility that allows mobile productivity to flourish the way it should.” Your challenge now is to develop a strategy that empowers people to use mobile devices the same way they’d use any other computer—with the added benefits that only mobility can provide.

Developing this strategy can seem like a daunting task. First, you’ve got to think through the needs and preferences of the people in your organizations, the use cases you’ve got to support, and the global security and compliance mandates you’re under. Then you have to figure out the best way to deploy and configure the tools at your disposal—including mobile device management (MDM), mobile application management (MAM), secured file sharing and application and desktop virtualization.

I won’t deny that developing this strategy will be a big job for a company with mostly unmanaged mobility, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. One way to make sense of it is to make sure you’re focused on the right initial priorities to guide your thinking. Here are three that I see as essential.

1. Protect key assets first

Trying to control and manage every aspect of your environment, from corporate and personal devices to public and private data, will drive you crazy and end up placing unnecessary roadblocks on what people can do, where. Do you really need to encrypt non-sensitive marketing collateral? How secure does your company news app really have to be? At the other end of the spectrum, data that poses a significant risk to your business calls for an especially high level of protection. You’ll also want to require mutual SSL authentication over a micro-app VPN for automating strong security for especially sensitive apps.

Taking this approach forces you to think through your use cases and simply classify your data at a level of detail you might not have otherwise—and that’s another good reason to do it.

2. Win the support of your workforce

One of the central challenges of enterprise mobility management is to prevent people from using non-secure workarounds. The worst case is one we call the “quadruple bypass”—a BYOD user on a consumer-grade device using sensitive enterprise data and going directly to the cloud. Try to prevent this kind of thing with a locked-down environment and brute-force policy enforcement and you’ll only alienate users and undermine their productivity (or make them want to work around seemingly arcane policies even more). Instead, make it a priority to wrap your enterprise mobility environment in a secured user experience that they’ll love—so they won’t be tempted to work any other way.

There are many ways to go about this, from single sign-on for any type of app—hosted, mobile or SaaS—to automated app-specific network settings, to simple file sync and sharing from any device. Adopt the mindset of a consumer mobility company facing cutthroat competition, and see how much you can do to thrill your customers.

3. Cover all your bases

The last thing you want to do is finish developing your enterprise mobility strategy, and only then realize you haven’t accounted for compliance—or get caught flat-footed six months from now by new wearable computing technologies or the Internet of Things. Your strategy needs to be all-encompassing along two dimensions: one, covering every element of security, compliance and risk management today; and two, anticipating and addressing new developments that will impact your organization in the foreseeable future.

At Citrix, we’ve been focusing a lot of expertise and resources on enterprise mobility strategy because we know it’s one of the most important issues our customers are addressing these days. For even more crucial considerations to help you develop your strategy, you can download our new white paper, “10 essential elements for a secure enterprise mobility strategy.” I’ll bet you find it useful!

Be sure to check out the security and compliance solutions page to learn more about how Citrix enables our customers to embrace mobility while protecting what matters most.

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About the author

Stacy Bruzek Banerjee is the director of solutions marketing for Citrix and is responsible for global security, business continuity and BYOD solutions. Prior to Citrix, Stacy worked to build Guidewire to explosive growth and a successful IPO. She has held marketing leadership roles at Oracle, Symantec and VISA, where she focused on data management, security and collaboration. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. Feel free to read more of Stacy’s blogs.