8 common enterprise mobility management (EMM) pitfalls you need to avoid

To help you advise your customers on the best way forward with enterprise mobility management, here are 8 common pitfalls that must be avoided to ensure a successful EMM project.

Are companies rushing to implement an enterprise mobility management (EMM) strategy because everyone else is doing the same, or because they fear they are being left behind in a modern IT gold rush? Either way, beware.

Enterprise mobility management is not a quick fix. Employees cannot be thrown out of their offices and told to ‘get mobile’, or left at home without proper management or preparation.

To help you advise your customers on the best way forward, here are eight common pitfalls that must be avoided to ensure a successful EMM project.

1. Your customers need to move beyond a simple ‘mobile-first’ mindset

The first phase of EMM is mobility device management (MDM) and historically involves companies having high levels of control over the devices used within the corporate network. These can include:

  • Devices provided by your customers.
  • Corporately owned and personally enabled devices.
  • Devices brought in under bring your own device (BYOD) working practices.

More organisations are adopting BYOD working practices but this isn’t enough on its own. Your customers need to consider potential security issues posed by employees bringing their own devices into the enterprise network. 72% businesses are concerned about data loss as a result of BYOD.

Resellers need to demonstrate how EMM strategies can resolve these concerns by highlighting the security features offered by MDM, such as remote wiping and two-step authentication.

2. Levels of control and usage need to be clearly defined

Enterprise vulnerability increases alongside end users being able to access the network wherever, whenever, on whatever device they prefer. Your customers will need to establish levels of control and usage in order to avoid any instances of data misuse, loss, or theft. Internal employees account for 43% of data loss, half of which are accidental. This could be a result of:

  • Devices not being properly locked.
  • Content being edited, and copied-and-pasted into incorrect areas.
  • Unauthorised use of unapproved apps to access data.

Resellers need to work with customers to establish how devices and apps can be used, accessed, and edited. The need for your customers to have control becomes even more acute when devices are used for both business and personal purposes.

Employees are prepared to accept some usage restrictions on the devices they use at work, but not if this control impinges on their personal data, such as family images or personal emails. 19% of employees resist BYOD adoption due to concerns about their privacy.

Your customers can avoid a lack of control by using mobile application management (MAM) features, accessible through a holistic EMM deployment. These include containerisation and app-wrapping, which keep business data segregated from personal information, protecting the business and the privacy of each end user.

3. True mobility prevents your customers from being inflexible around device types

Some employees will own and use personal mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Others may prefer to work on corporately owned, personally enabled devices. Work with your customers to implement a flexible mobility structure. Make them aware of the support they will need to offer their end users, across different devices, platforms, and operating systems.

“Smartphones, tablets and their apps have brought significant benefits to the enterprise, but new mobile technology like the internet of things (IoT) has consistently proven challenging to manage and secure. Those pros and cons will only become more pronounced as a new wave of wearables and IoT devices hits the market.” – Internet of Things Agenda

Resellers will also need to work with customers to ensure that approaches to EMM aren’t just focused on the present. Mobility is constantly changing and so your customers will need to future-proof their businesses, particularly as IoT and wearables become more commonplace.

4. Achieving buy-in across the organisation, from the board to end users

One major pitfall is to adopt EMM without sufficient preparation. Any EMM strategy relies on board and user buy-in and adoption to truly get off the ground. 38.5% of businesses saw securing stakeholder buy-in as their biggest challenge when implementing EMM solutions.

Work with your customers to define policies around working practices for their employees. These include:

  • Apps, websites, and files that can and can’t be accessed, shared, or edited.
  • Responsibility levels around security expectations at device and app level.
  • The amount of time they are expected to work and be available, in and out of the office.

You must help your customers draw up clear policies with HR and IT advisors. When presenting to the board, your customers can demonstrate that security has been prioritised in every instance.

5. Keep your customer open minded about infrastructure

It’s likely that your customers already have their own ideas about how much control they expect to gain from an EMM roll-out. But it’s also likely that they haven’t considered whether their current infrastructure can assist the roll-out or inhibits it.

Some customers will naturally prefer the control that an on-premise solution can give them. Resellers will need to open up discussions about cloud-computing, or hybrid solutions for customers who want the best of both worlds. 29% of businesses currently use an even mix of cloud and on-premise solutions.

Cloud computing can help your customers to:

  • Create organisational efficiencies.
  • Boost collaboration between a dispersed workforce.
  • Increase visibility of connected devices from a single console.
  • Reduce capital expenses and IT burden.

Explore all options with your customers. If a cloud-based solution is more suited to their business requirements, a lack of adoption could be detrimental.

6. Don’t let your customers neglect authentication

Security will be one of your customer’s highest priorities. 56% of businesses are concerned about unauthorised access to company data and systems. Any strategic EMM decisions they make will need to deliver security protocols as part of device, app, and content management. With employees using their own devices, corporate data will be taken outside of the enterprise network and be potentially vulnerable to threats.

Ensure that there is a strong authentication protocol, using fingerprint identification and single sign-on, for example. Your customer’s corporate information needs to be protected, as does the individual employee and their personal data. Without having the right security measures in place, your customers are putting their businesses at risk of breach.

7. Don’t just focus on security – your customers have other goals.

No customer will approach an EMM roll-out without having security at the front of their mind, but it’s important to explore the other goals your customers may have. A mature mobile strategy that covers device, app, and content management can help your customers to:

  • Save operational costs and drive efficiencies.
  • Improve rates of productivity.
  • Mobilise essential business processes through apps.
  • Achieve business agility.
  • Demonstrate return on investment.

It is important to build out the benefits of EMM beyond security. 64% of businesses state that their mobile IT efforts are driven by a desire to raise productivity. Help your customers to explore potential business gains from EMM and why they should make the investment. Enterprise mobility works for your customers, their business, and their end users.

8. Keep your customers up-to-date with new mobility changes and trends

Putting an EMM strategy in place and expecting it to permanently drive business transformation is simply unrealistic. Keep lines of communication open with your customers. New malware threats are always being created – 230,000 new malware samples were produced daily throughout 2015. New device types, patches, and updates frequently come to light and your customer's strategy needs to support all of these.

It is the responsibility of your customers to manage their enterprise mobility strategies, keeping ahead of the digital curve. They need to make sure devices, apps, and data remain protected in the face of change, and that their employees’ native user experience is not impinged in any way.


  • Think: Define your customer’s current levels of mobile maturity and how it can be improved with an EMM solution.
  • Act: Identify how likely they are to experience pitfalls and strategise around this, demonstrating how you can help them to avoid such issues.
  • Lead: Your customer's needs will evolve throughout the discussion and after the EMM roll-out is deployed. Keep lines of communications open as this will give way to potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
  • Share: Share success stories with your customers, portraying how similar businesses have avoided EMM pitfalls and enjoyed a successful roll-out that has led to multiple business benefits.

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