A recent report states mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop for the first time. Many of us thought this happened some time ago, but regardless, the evidence is clear – we love our mobile phones.

Some of the detail in the report shows that globally we are using mobile devices more than traditional desktops and that there are still some pockets where the scales haven’t quite tipped yet. In emerging markets, mobile devices have swept past desktops, perhaps showing that millennials are choosing to go straight to mobile. That makes sense because many youngsters have smartphones before they have a traditional computer. While they might not think of themselves as doing a lot of browsing, every tweet or post adds to the internet usage.
Given the switch in usage patterns, why do so many companies still not implement a mobile specific data and security management solution?

What is means for business

With mobile usage now becoming the bigger chunk of the total internet usage pie, it means that expensive traditional infrastructure protection is no longer looking out for the lions-share of the traffic. Mobile data is going unmonitored and unprotected for the new majority of transactions from businesses’ mobile devices while desktops and laptops are still well protected despite their declining usage pattern. That’s a real switch and it demonstrates a potential weakness in many organizations’ security strategy.
Let’s not forget also that internet access over cellular has a real cost to businesses. If that data isn’t going over internal Wi-Fi then it’s essentially unprotected and the proverbial ‘meter is running’. Businesses still need to provide a reliable internet connection at HQ for all servers, desktops and laptops. Along-side that easily quantified and fixed cost service, each mobile device needs a cellular plan to make sure it works reliably when users are on the move. It’s difficult to have a truly “fixed cost” data-plan for all users. Someone will inevitably tip the shared-pool plan over its ‘usage edge’ or go roaming without understanding the impending overage costs.  All of a sudden the mobile bill starts to balloon (and don’t forget what happens when someone Tethers their laptop to a smartphone).
Not many businesses  want to ‘cut-off’ a mobile device altogether when it hits the monthly data cap. And this makes sense too. It’s counterproductive to ‘cut-off’ a business user during the working week, even if they have been somewhat irresponsible with the data plan. They still need to file reports or answer email so typically they have a policy that means the user can keep on working, albeit with limited non-business connectivity. It’s tricky also gauging ‘typical’ usage when you can’t really control the quantity of the inbound traffic very well.
Most companies will simply look at the data-plan they used last year, do a quick review of their overages and then put a finger in the air when estimating the data-plan package for the following year. Not very scientific given the sharp increase in usage and the result is often too small or way too big.
These are the aspects of mobility that at Wandera we help our customers mitigate and manage day-in and day-out. When it comes to data roaming, analysts agree that the combined use of an EMM with a data cost management solution is the key to cutting costs. We also see a mobile centric solution as key to a successful overall IT and security strategy and now of course, with the obvious switch in usage pattern, an even more important component.
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