5 pitfalls that could kill your customer’s EMM projects – and how to avoid them

Complex IT projects are notoriously difficult to deliver properly – here are 5 pitfalls you will need to help your customers avoid.

Like any IT project, enterprise mobility management (EMM) implementation is fraught with pitfalls. There’s a good chance that your customers will have been burned on previous IT projects, so they will want to address future challenges up front.

Whether your customers ask about them or not, it is good practice to outline the challenges they face – and how to overcome them. Here are our top 5 challenges you should raise during your next EMM sales discussion.

1. Stakeholder buy-in

The Global State of Enterprise Mobility 2016 report reveals that 38.5% of businesses saw securing stakeholder buy-in as their biggest challenge when implementing EMM solutions. The benefits of EMM solutions, including streamlined operations and increased productivity, are still outweighed by concerns about security implications (26.9%).

Emphasising the security benefits of EMM solutions is key to winning stakeholder buy-in. In the next 12-18 months, 38.8% of business plan to invest in mobile and enterprise security. Your implementation proposal will need to demonstrate how EMM solutions can alleviate security concerns through device, application, and content management.

2. User adoption and compliance

EMM goes far beyond a ‘mobile-first’ mindset. With solutions for device, application, and content management, implementation can seem like a large feat. This challenge is heightened when your customer’s end users fail to adopt the EMM solution.

“Understanding the main objectives of EMM implementation will help the staff understand why they have to use it, while helping the organisation calculate the costs, return on investment and the security risks involved.”
Chris Holland, Head of Research and Emerging Technologies at Nedbank.

Work with your customers to demonstrate that the benefits of EMM aren’t just for the business. End users can work securely on their preferred devices, wherever they are, maximising their productivity. Their user experience is also prioritised within any EMM solution as their personal data is separated and protected from corporate apps and data.

Your customers can put usage and compliance policies in place to guide their end users and help them to understand the purpose, aims, and benefits of the EMM solution. Building trust and understanding between your customers and their end users will ultimately lead to user adoption.

3. Choosing the right infrastructure and mobile devices

Any successful EMM implementation needs to be built on a robust infrastructure that is suited to your customer’s needs. Work with your customers to define whether a cloud, on-premise, or hybrid infrastructure would work best.

It sounds obvious, but not all mobile devices are the same – even those that run the same operating system. You will need to help your customers profile the available options, and define those that best meet their needs. This can then be used to create a shortlist from which employees select the device they want to work with.

Even in a bring your own device (BYOD) environment, this exercise will not be completely wasted. Your customers will be suitably well informed to advise employees when personal devices do not meet required standards and will go unsupported by the corporate network.

4. Apps and mobile compatibility

Your customers will have a number of line-of-business applications which are essential to the majority of their processes. Mobile workers will need access to these tools too. Apps now account for 89% of mobile media time. The reality is that many legacy or bespoke applications are not mobile-enabled. This is a serious problem that may require significant additional investment to resolve.

At the very earliest stages of EMM deployment, you will need to explore the mobile capabilities of each application, and the available options. It may be that some applications can be interfaced with a third party mobile app, or it may be that the delivery of your customer’s line-of-business applications needs changing. Discuss opportunities such as enterprise application stores with your customers so they can maximise compatibility.

5. Understanding how mobile is being used

Your customers will be keen to understand how mobility is currently being used throughout their organisation and how implementing an EMM solution will improve this. If your customers feel dubious about the results of enterprise mobility management, then implementation and roll-out will never get off the ground.

They will want to ensure:

  • They are getting full value from their investment.
  • Compliance standards are being upheld.
  • Employees are adhering to usage policies.
  • They can spot process inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement.

You will need to work alongside your customers to help them define the metrics required to measure these factors. They will also require assistance with building reports and analytics routines to help them extract that information.


  • Think: Implementation challenges are common barricades between your customers moving forward with an EMM purchase. By building on the benefits, these challenges can be easily overcome.
  • Act: A successful EMM implementation is heavily reliant on you working alongside your customers. Build an understanding of customer’s EMM expectations and the requirements of the wider team.
  • Lead: Help customers to identify the right infrastructure, devices, applications and management policies.
  • Share: Demonstrate how EMM benefits the business, the individual, and ultimately, the ROI that can be driven for the board.

The Trusted Advisor Blueprint: How to plan and deliver an enterprise mobility management (EMM) project