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Enterprise Mobility Challenge: Boost Productivity, Reduce IT Complexity

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This dossier examines both the advantages and challenges of mobile computing, and …

This dossier examines both the advantages and challenges of mobile computing, and
how Dell and Intel are collaborating to provide solutions that address the key facets of
mobile computing: productivity, security and manageability.

Published in Technology
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  • 1. Enterprise Mobility Challenge:Boost Productivity, Reduce IT Complexity Laptop computers have been outseLLing desktops for severaL years now, and with the anticipated move to Microsoft Windows 7, analyst firms expect that trend to Bottom Line: accelerate. There’s no surprise about why this is happening from a systems standpoint: New era of mobile Laptops are less expensive and more powerful today, and untethered employees can computing now connect wirelessly to crucial data at ever-increasing speeds. creates Speeds and feeds aren’t the only capabilities boosting mobile computing. Mobility brings qualitative advantages too. Employees can be productive wherever their work opportunities takes them, whether that’s a conference room, a customer site, a home office or a for remote baseball stadium. The result: a tectonic shift in the way people work, bringing flexibility in productivity while terms of where, when and how employees conduct business during both traditional and next-generation, nontraditional working hours. industry-standard As a result, mobile computing helps employees conform to shifts in today’s global technologies business environment. Collaborating with international partners sometimes requires trade-offs. Meetings at odd hours are acceptable if it means parents can take the time to address watch an after-school soccer game (and still be connected to email on the sidelines). management As frequently happens with technology, simplicity for one group represents complexity for and data security. another. While laptops measurably increase employee productivity, they also bring challenges to the IT department. For every laptop traveling beyond the boundaries of the traditional corporate network, there is a commensurate challenge for IT in terms of physical security, data security, data management and system administration. How can companies balance the goal of bringing flexibility to their employees without overwhelming the IT department? Thanks to technological advances, the answer is becoming clearer. Companies must deploy systems that simultaneously fulfill the needs of employees whose workspaces shift frequently, as well as the needs of IT departments whose resources remain limited.
  • 2. This dossier examines both the advantages and challenges of mobile computing, and how Dell and Intel are collaborating to provide solutions that address the key facets ofCompanies mobile computing: productivity, security and manageability.can ensure thatemployees’ Mobility Equals Productivitytravel schedules The increasing numbers of mobile users—more than 1 billion, according to a Mobil- ity Outlook study conducted by research firm IDC—result from a unique confluence ofno longer advancements in technology and communications, and indeed, in the way global com-impact the panies conduct business. From a technological standpoint, laptop computers and otherprogress of mobile computing devices have progressively become smaller, more convenient to carry and more powerful—thanks to faster and more efficient processors. Notebooks matchprojects. and surpass desktop computers as full-fledged computing devices, with all the process- ing power necessary for doing any kind of work at any time (as opposed to netbooks, which are highly portable, but whose limited processing power and small screen size make them unsuitable for many applications). Notebooks are even beginning to adopt capabilities found in handheld computers. For example, the incorporation of solid-state hard drives in laptop computers, which use flash memory, means that users can access scheduling and contact data almost instantly, with a minimal boot-up process. Just as computing technology has advanced, so too has communications technolo- gy. Employees working remotely now have more ways to access greater bandwidth. For example, a growing number of homes have high-speed Internet access, giving employ- ees the ability to plug their laptops into an Ethernet cable or a wireless network at home. Also, at home or on the road, aircards in the form of USB devices give them broadband wireless access. With this bandwidth, uploading and downloading information to corpo- rate databases is no longer as time-consuming as it once was. Mobile users can access corporate data as easily as employees working at the office. Concurrently, business models have evolved, underscoring the need for better computing and communications. Globalization means companies are more frequently collaborating with partners throughout the world. The speed with which companies conduct business demands that communication—whether through email or telecon- ferencing—does not wait until the next business day. The result: an increasing need for employees to respond to emails or collaborate in meetings before or after normal work- ing hours. But because of the foregoing advancements, employees can now be fully engaged in discussions, using their computers to participate in audio teleconferencing or videoconferencing, whether they are at home or on the road. This way, companies can ensure that employees’ travel schedules no longer impact the progress of projects. These productivity enhancements extend to almost every segment of workers: knowledge workers. The image of a deskbound worker is no longer accurate. Even em- ployees who traditionally work in offices are frequently called to meetings in conference rooms or other buildings on corporate campuses (not to mention occasional corporate and conference travel). The ability for those workers to access and update corporate information quickly and easily requires them to rely on mobile computing devices. field service. Any industry that employs a mobile workforce—cable providers, tele- communications providers, delivery services, plumbers, appliance repair—benefits from mobile technology. The ability to upload inventory requests immediately means that trucks can be restocked quickly and efficiently. By taking advantage of global positioning systems (GPS), the closest service provider can be sent to the next most-pressing repair job. Further, workers in these types of situations can choose from an increasing number of ruggedized notebooks, designed to withstand more than the usual wear-and-tear. field sales. Successful salespeople are rarely at their desk; they’re out meeting with cus-shifting road tomers and prospects, wherever it’s convenient for the customer. Anyone in field sales—warriors into high gear insurance agents, real estate agents, sales reps, financial services consultants—can use2 notebooks to access up-to-date pricing, inventory and promotional information quickly and easily. Because they can file orders from their notebooks, rather than returning to
  • 3. the office, salespeople’s productivity increases and back-end databases reflect more ac- curate ordering information as well.Studies by Interestingly, mobile computing advancements have spawned an additional trend— the tendency of employees to be more productive, even adding to their work day asOfficeTeam, a much as 51 minutes per day, according to a study by Forrester Research . Part of thisnational staffing comes from the ability to conduct activities such as checking email while in transit, but itservice, show also stems from the convenience of being able to catch up on other work in the quiet of a residence or hotel room after a day spent in meetings.that flexibility Further, mobile computing enables employees to time-shift some activities in orderand control over to spend more time with families; they can do work after children have gone to bed, forwork not only example. This can lead to a better work-life balance. In fact, studies by OfficeTeam, a na- tional staffing service, show that flexibility and control over work not only leads to moreleads to more productive employees, but happier employees.productiveemployees, The Challenges of Mobile Computingbut happier Every silver lining has a cloud, however. With mobile computing, that cloud hovers overemployees. the IT department. While these new capabilities open up wider opportunities for employ- ee productivity gains, they also deliver new challenges for IT in terms of security and data management. Because these devices are designed to go anywhere, by definition that puts them beyond the physical control of IT. The resulting challenges range from data security (protecting the data from being misappropriated) to physical security (protect- ing the devices from breakage or theft) to data management (application and operating system updates, backup and archiving). data security. IT must ensure that data is protected, no matter where it resides or where it’s transmitted. The potential loss of customer data represents a major headache, for a variety of reasons. Data loss brings up security concerns (how did the breach take place?) and confidentiality issues (was the data related to customers, patients or intel- lectual property?). Data loss also has severe ramifications for the company’s reputation. In most states, breaches must be reported, opening the door to not only costly lawsuits, but also loss of business and diminished reputation. For IT, this challenge becomes even harder because it involves two different scenar- ios—that of data at rest and data in transit. Data at rest refers to the data on the mobile device itself. According to surveys conducted by the Ponemon Institute, a security con- sulting firm, 41 percent of CIOs report that the greatest threat to security is employees’ failure to use proper authentication. That means companies must establish stringent policies regarding the use of passwords and the updating of passwords on a regularshifting roadwarriors into high gear3
  • 4. basis. At the same time, companies are frequently turning to disk-based encryption to ensure that data can’t be misused even if it is lost or stolen.Other options Experts also recommend file-based encryption for more sensitive files. According to recent studies, data encryption can cut the average cost of a lost laptop nearly in half,that help with because the information does not have to be reproduced, the laptop doesn’t have to bedata security in replaced, and such encryption prevents potential breaches. Of course, IT must continuemobile devices to support traditional security applications such as anti-virus and anti-malware tools. Data in transit refers to the transmission of data. With remote workers, this almostinclude the always occurs wirelessly. Though mobile devices can be plugged into a docking stationability to delete or cradle in the office, the majority of the time employees communicate wirelessly. Mostdata remotely, companies use software-based virtual private networks (VPNs) to secure connection to their servers. Users confirm their authorization through a series of passwords. Us-known as a ing a VPN—which acts as a protective tunnel—prevents data from mobile devices being“kill switch.” “sniffed” or “hacked” from nearby devices. Sometimes, however, it doesn’t even take a sophisticated device to misappropriate data. Because these devices are used away from the office, frequently in public places, it’s possible for unscrupulous people to simply peek over shoulders of users, the same way someone might try to discern a PIN from an unsuspecting person at an ATM. To al- leviate this, IT may want to deploy privacy screens. Some high-end notebooks incorpo- rate facial-recognition technology along with cameras; this ensures that only an autho- rized user is facing the screen. Other options that help with data security in mobile devices include the ability to delete data remotely, known as a “kill switch.” That way, if the device is lost, data can be erased the next time someone tries to connect the device to a network, or immediately with an initiated kill command from IT. A tracking and recovery service that uses GPS technology to locate lost laptops is another option. physical security and durablity. This is harder to accomplish because of the human fac- tor; laptops are sometimes stolen, misplaced or dropped. Companies are more frequent- ly etching laptops or attaching asset tags to help find them in case they’re misplaced. But it’s also incumbent upon IT to establish strong policies, and remind employees of them frequently, because, according to the Ponemon Institute, the estimated cost of a lost laptop is $39,297, including the cost of lost data. These policies are frequently just com- mon sense: Put mobile devices in the trunks of cars; secure them in hotel rooms with lock-and-cable accessories. But because these devices are handhelds, they’re easier to drop and damage. To this end, companies should think about configuring laptops with solid-state drives, either as primary or secondary drives, because of their increased reliability (they have no moving parts inside). Another solution is to purchase laptops equipped with free-fall sensors, which can prevent damage if there’s a drop of 5 inches. In addition, systems manu- facturers like Dell are manufacturing notebooks that conform to military-specification (mil-spec) standards to ensure reliability. Alternatively, Dell offers service and support plans that include hard-disk data-recovery services for those instances when devices are dropped or damaged. One final note relating to both physical and data security: The older a device, the more prone it is to problems. Hardware reliability diminishes considerably the older a machine becomes. In addition, because security software capability has advanced significantly, an older machine may not have the processing power to accommodate those applications. A survey by IT services firm Wipro of 106 firms in North America and Europe with at least 2,500 PCs (of which at least 25 percent were laptops) revealed that a 4-year-old PC without up-to-date anti-virus software can experience a 53 percent increase in annual security incidents. Unfortunately, many companies do not calculate support issues relating to current laptops into the cost of procuring new ones. But to al- leviate support and improve security, it may actually be less expensive to refresh laptops than to keep using them.shifting road system management. One of the key responsibilities of IT is maintaining the operatingwarriors into high gear system and applications on client devices. When employees are mobile, however, it se-4 verely reduces IT’s access to these devices. This makes it harder to ensure both that the resident data is backed up properly and that they receive prompt updates for OS, appli-
  • 5. The new Intel®Core™ i5/i7processors canimprove simpleproductivityapplicationmultitasking byanywhere fromthree to seventimes that of pre-vious processors. cation or security reasons. System management is even more difficult when workers are both mobile and remote, such as field sales workers, because leaving a laptop running but unattended (even in a family home, where children can access it) is problematic. As a result, IT must set up strict rules regarding when employees log in and leave their devices running to ensure that such updates regularly take place. IT must also minimize interference with employee productivity when attending to technical support issues or repairs. Repairs can be time-consuming, so it helps to have a high level of standardization among mobile devices. That way, if nothing else, IT can swap the hard drive from one device and install it in another for the employee to use. How Dell and Intel Are Making Mobility Better As leading systems and processor manufacturers, Dell and Intel understand the key is- sues for both employees and IT when it comes to mobile devices. They’re working on two fronts: to increase performance for users, and to ease the management and security responsibilities for IT. For instance, the new Intel® Core™ i5/i7 processors can improve simple productivity application multitasking by anywhere from three to seven times that of previous proces- sors. When Principled Technologies tested Dell Latitude notebooks equipped with Intel® Core™ 2 processors running Microsoft Windows 7 against previous generations of Dell notebooks, the results were impressive: System performance was 120 percent greater, based on the Sysmark benchmark. Other results show that laptops equipped with Core™ 2 processors perform: n Up to 54 percent faster in opening Microsoft® Office n Up to 73 percent faster when resuming from standby n Up to 46 percent faster in shutdown At the same time, Dell has been working to improve battery life—a key component of productivity in mobile devices. Its latest Latitude E-Family laptops offer as much as 85 percent longer battery life, thanks to Dell’s new ControlPoint software. This utility lets users configure their laptops to derive maximum battery life—even as long as the length of the workday. ControlPoint powers down unused features and hardware in order to conserve the battery as much as possible. In addition, Dell has incorporated numerous low-power components to optimize its laptops for performance and efficiency.shifting road These power-saving capabilities, in turn, support the creation of even thinner mobilewarriors into high gear devices. Managing power consumption more efficiently eliminates the need for heat5 sinks on the processor, or fans within the systems themselves. The result: smaller, lighter, thinner devices with performance equivalent to larger systems.
  • 6. Dell has also added features to its laptops that boost users’ productivity when it comes to collaboration and communication. It’s Latitude ON technology lets usersDell has also access productivity applications such as email, calendar and contacts without booting up. The Latitude E-Family laptops incorporate a 3-megapixel autofocus camera, mi-added features crophone and speakers; these enable workers to easily participate in videoconferencesto its laptops without having to carry additional peripherals. These laptops have also been optimizedthat boost users’ for use with Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS), which increases productiv- ity by offering an integrated in-box for email, voice mail, and faxes. The OCS applicationproductivity also lets employees click on a colleague’s name, whether in an email or contact file, towhen it comes to contact them in real time via phone or instant message.collaboration and To better protect laptops used in harsh working environments (field service workers) or even sent through airport security, Dell has focused on greater durability. The Latitudecommunication. second-generation E-Family laptops, for instance, conform to the MIL STD 810F specifi- cation, which protects them from shock, vibration, temperature spikes, humidity and alti- tude. The E-Family also incorporates sensors that can help prevent data loss after drops. The second area in which Dell and Intel are collaborating is to reduce technical sup- port requirements for mobile devices. Centralized management capabilities start with Intel’s vPro technology, which incor- porates security and manageability for laptop computers. Built into CPUs and chipsets, it lets IT access the operating systems of mobile devices regardless of the state of the OS or if the PC is powered off. With processors using vPro technology, IT can communicate directly with the processor and chipsets themselves. This capability allows IT to establish a VPN independent of the state of the operating system and bring the system up so that updates, repairs and other technical issues can be resolved without user intervention. This alleviates the need for users and IT to coordinate a mutually convenient time for a technical support session; in fact, users don’t have to be involved at all. Because IT can bring up the system remotely, it can also handle periodic backup and archiving tasks. Dell created its Dell Management Console, based on software from Symantec, to work in conjunction with Intel’s vPro processors. According to research from various analysts and users, the results can save IT departments significant time, money and resources. In fact: n Research from IDC shows that centralized management can reduce support costs by up to 42 percent. n First-year savings of up to 25 percent can be realized with centralized software management, according to research from Gartner. n A study by the Indiana State Office of Technology shows an 80 percent reduction in desk-side visits for Intel® vPro™ enabled PC. n According to a survey of Dell customers, desk-side technician time is reduced by up to 88 percent and network traffic is reduced by 70 percent in deployments. This improved integration of Dell software with Intel hardware lessens demands on IT resources. Dell also offers other ways to help IT manage physical and data security. From an authentication standpoint, options include integrated fingerprint readers, which ensure access only by the authorized user; contact and contactless smart cards, which provide a higher level of access protection thanks to embedded readers; facial recognition au- thentication options through the FaceAware tool; and integrated RSA authentication for sensitive Web applications. From the standpoint of physical security, Dell Services can deliver laser-etched sys- tems for permanent identification of corporate property. It also offers options for remote data deletion via a centralized kill switch, as well as tracking and recovery services. In terms of data security, Dell Latitude E-Family laptops incorporate ControlVault technology for greater protection of authentication data. It keeps these credentials sepa- rate from the hard drive, the memory and the processors (which hackers most frequentlyshifting road target) so that the information stays secure.warriors into high gear Dell also offers modular security services, which let IT choose the external services6 it needs based on its internal security resources. In addition, because new Dell systems come preloaded with Microsoft Windows 7, they offer the security features inherent in
  • 7. the operating system itself. These include BitLocker, which combines drive encryption and the ability to check the integrity of initial boot components; BitLocker to Go offersToday’s the same capability for removable storage devices. Microsoft also helps IT incorporate centralized management services such as Ap-companies pLocker, which lets IT specify what software can run on a user’s PC. Similarly, its Direc-need their tAccess application lets IT set up seamless access to corporate networks, but without theemployees to need to deploy a VPN. The result of Dell and Intel working together provides benefits all around. Today’sbe more pro- companies need their employees to be more productive with fewer resources, and theyductive with can now give those employees a strong foundation for that productivity by deployingfewer resources, mobile computing devices. Even though employees are being asked to do more, these devices provide them with the flexibility and control to balance their work and familyand they can lives. As long as employees maintain an electronic connection to colleagues, they cannow give those take the time to watch their children’s after-school activities, for instance—and beingemployees able to do that means more willingness to participate in late-night teleconferences with colleagues around the world.a strong Even better for companies, increased productivity for employees does not translatefoundation into increased complexity for their IT departments. Thanks to built-in systems and datafor that management capabilities, IT technicians get to maintain their own work-life balance by spending more time centrally managing systems and less time worrying about accom-productivity modating the growing numbers of increasingly mobile employees.by deployingmobilecomputing for more details, please visit the dell Latitude e-family pagedevices. at dell.com or visit these sites: n Retooling IT for a Mobile Workforce n End-to-End Mobility Solution for Enterprise n Airport Insecurity: The Case of the Lost Laptopsshifting roadwarriors into high gear7