Digital Transformation Expert Interview

RobKevinDigital

Kevin Benedict from Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work interviews Rob Tiffany on where Digital Transformation is taking the business world.

Kevin drills into the current unrealized upside with digital transformation efforts and Rob takes a deep dive on Machine Learning, the Cloud, Agile development, Mobile and the Internet of Things.

Learn more from Kevin at The Center for the Future of Work 

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Reduce Corporate Expenses by Configuring Devices and Delivering Apps to Users with MDM

Dallas

When you’re ready to deploy apps or provision Wi-Fi, certificates, VPN or email to mobile devices, get an EMM solution to provide MDM.

With the basics of device-level security and policy enforcement covered by Exchange ActiveSync, you’re ready to take the next step in providing value to your employees. Extending access to PIM, delivering apps to devices and provisioning functionality over the air was the reason the earliest mobile device management (MDM) packages were built. I should know since I co-founded the first cloud-based MDM company back in 2003. The space has broadened significantly and is now referred to as enterprise mobility management (EMM) with an evolving set of features. The MDM component of EMM delivers:

  • Support for the most widely used mobile operating systems
  • Software lifecycle management that deploys, upgrades and retires apps
  • Operating system configuration management that enforces the IT policies applied to devices, monitors compliance and provides auditing
  • Simplifies users’ lives by provisioning pre-configured settings for email, VPN, Wi-Fi and certificates via profiles
  • Asset management and usage of devices and apps
  • Telecom expense management
  • Service management and remote helpdesk support capabilities
  • Scalability to support hundreds of thousands of devices

Reduce your expenses and improve user productivity by remotely configuring devices and delivering apps to users without needing additional support staff. What is your organization doing do help employees configure their mobile devices and get the apps they need?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Reduce Company Expenses and Enforce Mobile Security with Exchange Active Sync

Houston

If you don’t have an Enterprise Mobility Management solution, start with Exchange Active Sync to enforce device policies and security.

Baby steps. While you might not say Microsoft Exchange Server in the same breath as enterprise mobility management, this product has managed more devices than any other system over the last decade. Since most enterprises already use Active Directory for identity coupled with Exchange Server on-premises or via Office 365 in the cloud for email, calendar and contacts, this is a simple way to get started. A protocol called Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) that dates back to the Pocket PC and is used by virtually every mobile operating system to allow the magic to happen.

So what does this have to do with managing devices? Well, EAS helps secure smartphones and tablets via policy enforcement. This allows you to require PINs and passwords, device and storage card encryption, remote wipe for lost or stolen phones, and S/MIME email encryption, to name a few. It also lets you disable features like a phone’s camera, removable storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SMS and others. If you’ve worked in the public sector, this probably rings a bell.

If you think managing your mobile devices via Exchange ActiveSync is unorthodox, remember this was the only way to manage iPhones until iOS 4 and Android until version 2.2 was released. I think EAS facilitated the BYOD movement more than any other factor.

Reduce expenses and risk to your company by enforcing security policies on your mobile devices using the capabilities found in an email server you probably already own. What basic steps has your organization taken to enforce mobile security on smartphones and tablets?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Improve User Productivity by Utilizing Cloud Services to Better Serve Mobile Employees

Mobile employees working around the world are best served by globally distributed cloud services + replicated data with low network latency.

Your organization may have customers and employees distributed all over the world. These people have neither the time nor the patience to wait for data to travel great distances over land or though undersea cables. If your business is currently serving your constituents via an on-premises network or a regional data center, you’re not being responsive to their needs.

Take advantage of services provided by top-tier cloud providers with data centers distributed throughout the world. Narrow your list based on analyst and other trusted reviews of Platform as a Service (PaaS/Cloud development) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS/Virtualization) capabilities. Further narrow the list based on network capacity, redundancy, disaster recovery, data handling, support your existing server operating systems, databases, programming languages, and connectors to line of business systems.

Whether lifting and shifting existing systems or building new ones in the cloud, you must go beyond just load-balancing within one or two data centers. Your websites and APIs must be distributed globally so customers and employees are automatically directed to the nearest data centers for the best performance. Additionally, the databases that power these systems must be replicated everywhere so everyone is looking at the same data. One word of caution I’d pass along is to be cognizant of data sovereignty requirements that may limit data flow to a particular region or country.

Improve user productivity and increase revenue by providing fast and reliable access to corporate data to employees anywhere in the world. What is your organization doing to support its global workforce?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Improve User Experience by Extending Wireless to Customers and Employees

Las Vegas

Use Femtocells + mobile broadband routers to extend wireless to customers & employees without coverage in buildings or at remote work sites.

It goes without saying that not all organizations are the same. They don’t all reside in offices in downtown skyscrapers or on corporate campuses. The way employees work and how customers are served varies greatly. It’s important your mobile strategy reflects these differences.

Let’s talk about employees that don’t work in your Wi-Fi saturated office. Just because your workforce has corporate-liable or personally-liable mobile devices, doesn’t mean they have the wireless coverage to make them work. In the construction business, you have a group of employees performing tasks outside at a work site. To ensure this team can connect to corporate resources, you may need to deploy a Femtocell and a mobile broadband router. This is a mobile hot spot on steroids that allows you to extend cellular coverage to areas where you need it.

Oftentimes you have to extend wireless coverage to your customers. If you own a sports stadium you have to enhance coverage while supporting a higher density of connected devices. If you own a casino or convention center, it’s imperative you provide pervasive indoor cellular coverage so your guests can keep using their phones. These cases require you to deploy microcells as well as additional data backhaul capacity. As always, apply pressure on mobile operators to provide network coverage if they want to keep your business.

Improve customer experience and user productivity by extending wireless coverage to employees and customers alike. What is your organization doing to bring wireless to its important stakeholders?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

 

Improve Productivity by Publishing Services to Mobile Employees via a Web Gateway

Salt Lake City

Rather than extending your entire network out to mobile devices via VPN, publish individual services through a web gateway or the cloud.

Most remote employees gain access to Intranet resources through a virtual private network (VPN). Using 3rd party or built-in software, employees provide credentials and sometimes a smartcard to create a VPN tunnel. Once created, employees can securely exchange data with internal resources. This is anything but seamless and employees find setting up VPN sessions and re-authenticating due to dropped connections to be a hassle. They want to access things the same way they do on the Internet.

Let’s take a look at a better mobile reality. Most companies around the world use Microsoft Exchange for corporate email. For more than a decade, mobile users on virtually every platform have been able to securely sync their email without first creating a cumbersome VPN connection. This was possible because Exchange publishes its Active Sync service through a reverse-proxy over TLS. The email app is responsible for passing credentials to the server. It works the way mobile employees expect all their mobile apps to work.

You can do this too by publishing your internal web sites and REST + JSON APIs on port 443 through a reverse proxy that lives at the network edge. Reverse proxies are appliances or server software that let you create a multi-channel access gateway. Of course, when you move your workloads to the cloud, none of this will be needed anymore.

Improve user productivity by eliminating the need to create cumbersome VPN connections to achieve secure connections. What remote access technology changes are you making at your organization to make life easier for your employees?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Reduce Business Expenses and Accelerate Mobile Integration with Backend Servers

Bellevue

Accelerate the mobile integration and delivery of server resources to any device utilizing mobile middleware solutions like MEAP, MADP, MRAD or mBaaS.

Enterprise mobile apps don’t live in a vacuum. They typically communicate with a backend system. Some newer, vertically-integrated packages provide the backend system and mobile apps to get you up and running quickly. That said, most backend systems aren’t very helpful when it comes to talking to a variety of mobile devices.

There’s a class of mobile middleware systems that accelerate the development of connected enterprise apps. They simplify authentication with enterprise directories, deliver push notifications, provide adapters to connect to other disparate systems and facilitate data sync with devices to name a few. The first of these systems were called mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAP). Over time these systems evolved to something called mobile application development platform (MADP) to support a broader range of scenarios. Hallmarks of both MEAP and MADP was the use of proprietary technologies to rapidly create user interfaces and connect to backend systems. This made it harder to find developers since the programming environments were anything but mainstream. The newer, cloud-based iterations of these systems are called mobile backend as a service (mBaaS). This delivers half the solution as developers code with popular programming languages and interface with backend services via APIs from an mBaaS SDK. In case you need another four letter acronym to accelerate your development, check out the new class of mobile rapid application development tools (MRAD).

Reduce business expenses by getting your mobile solution to market faster with fewer development resources so you can start making money sooner. What is your company doing to accelerate mobile app development?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Reduce Business Expenses by Deploying Mobile Middleware in the Enterprise

Vancouver

Mobile middleware provides intelligent aggregation of backend business data while reducing duplication of field data entry.

Requiring employees to connect to multiple backend systems, one at a time, to complete their tasks is wasteful. Furthermore, forcing each mobile app to aggregate disparate data from ERP, CRM, supply chain, and others places results in high latency and is prone to security flaws. Wouldn’t it be nice if an app could make a single connection to an on-premises or cloud-based server to transparently exchange data with multiple backend systems?

Mobile middleware systems make this complicated task a reality. Through the use of adapters that interface with a variety of backend packages, databases, message buses and other systems of record, mobile middleware acts as an intermediary. Just the right data from a combination of systems can be aggregated for seamless synchronization by a mobile app that only has to deal with one server. Since the mobile app isn’t tightly-coupled to any of those backend data sources, they can be modified or swapped out.

This architecture also benefits anyone who has had to enter redundant data into multiple backend systems. Now, the mobile app sends captured data just once and the middleware takes care directing copies of certain data elements to other systems. Field workers no longer have to return to the office at the end of the day to perform duplicate data entry.

Improve user productivity and cut costs by reducing overtime work through the elimination of unnecessary employee tasks. Which mobile middleware systems is your organization putting in place to optimize its processes?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Reduce Business Risk by Protecting Corporate Assets and IP from BYOD Employees

Los Angeles

Send “Bring your own Device” BYOD employees to the Internet via a separate Wi-Fi network versus giving them direct access to internal servers.

Many companies today have a guest network. This is a separate Wi-Fi network that visitors use to access the Internet when they come meet with employees. Some of these guest networks require a password given to them by the person at the front desk and others don’t use security.

Now imagine a guest network on steroids serving all your mobile employees when they’re in the office and extending the data plans on their personal devices.

I’m sorry, but I still don’t believe in the concept of the trusted enterprise wireless network where mobile employees have direct access to internal servers. Compromised mobile devices and apps can unwittingly attack those networks and servers. Send them out to the Internet and have them come back into the Intranet through a secure path. Your company has already spent a lot of time and effort creating a secure Extranet for employees who need remote access. Put your reverse proxies, firewalls, routers, VNETs and switches to use for all mobile employees. Instead of maintaining two classes of access to internal resources, just reuse the one you already have.

Moving into the future, Intranet resources will disappear as everything migrates to the cloud. Concepts like remote access and internal servers will vanish and your super-fast guest network will look like a stroke of genius.

Reduce Risk to you corporate assets and intellectual property by blocking direct Wi-Fi access to Intranet resources. Is your organization allowing employees to access internal servers with their personal mobile devices?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany

Improve Employee Productivity by Enhancing Corporate Infrastructure to Support BYOD

SanDiego

The “Bring your own Device” (BYOD) phenomenon has moved employees from 1:1 PC computing to 5:1 mobility requiring enhanced infrastructure & cloud workloads.

More and more BYOD employees are using their own laptops, tablets and smartphones to access corporate data, apps and other services to do their jobs. It started with email in the early 2000s, progressed to synched calendars and contacts, the mobile web and then an explosion of apps. This transformation took employees from Ethernet-connected PCs to multiple, wireless-connected mobile devices.

Imagine you live in a city with 100,000 citizens. Over the course of just a few years, the population swells to 500,000. Asleep at the wheel, city leaders and civil servants didn’t build new roads, add mass-transit, increase the sewer systems or deploy new power cabling to meet the needs of this larger city. This reflects the infrastructures of most corporations today.

The BYOD tsunami combined with the impact of the Cloud and IoT requires significant infrastructure upgrades in order to cope:

  • More bandwidth via redundant, Internet connected and private fiber circuits.
  • Faster routers, switches, proxies and firewalls with increased capacity.
  • A managed Wi-Fi infrastructure using multiple channels, higher access point density and the most bandwidth possible.
  • Dramatically beefed-up DNS, email and line of business servers with shorter DHCP leases.

Improve User Productivity by building a corporate infrastructure that supports the unique needs of today’s BYOD workforce. What kinds of improvements has your organization made to its infrastructure to handle of onslaught of mobile and IoT devices?

Learn how to digitally transform your company in my newest book, “Mobile Strategies for Business: 50 Actionable Insights to Digitally Transform your Business.”

Book Cover

Click to purchase a copy of my book today and start transforming your business!

Sharing my knowledge and helping others never stops, so connect with me on my blog at http://robtiffany.com , follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RobTiffany and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/robtiffany