Mobility is well on its way to ubiquity in the enterprise. In the next 3 years, 1.75 billion people, or 42 percent of the entire global workforce, will be mobile, according to the analyst firm Strategy Analytics. To add structure to the proliferation of mobility, the majority of organizations, to date, have deployed an enterprise mobility management (EMM) approach to mitigate security vulnerabilities and educate employees on the benefits of performing work on mobile devices.

The modernization of legacy applications into modern consumer-like mobile experiences is adding even greater productivity and efficiency benefits for users. As such, by the end of 2017, demand for enterprise

However, by finally reaching mainstream demand for mobile pervasiveness comes a new responsibility for the enterprise: future proofing its EMM.

Future proofing is the process of anticipating future internal and external challenges and opportunities, and developing methods to minimize the effects of shocks and stresses of currently unforeseen events. But before an organization can begin the future proofing process, it must reflect on its current mobile maturity. Is desktop content being transformed into mobile experiences? Does the organization deploy a mobile first strategy? Can the organization leverage data to transform client experiences? These are just some of the questions that enterprise leaders should ask.

Future Proofing Your Enterprise Mobility Strategy

A future proofed EMM strategy should enable organizations to connect users to the information and resources they need; protect data, applications and networks; and transform how organizations support and manage mobile productivity. Here are eight considerations for building a future proofed mobility strategy.

1. Recognize mobility as a team sport

Both business leaders and IT should be the drivers of mobile transformation. Line of Business (LOB) understands the many key tasks and workflows that they need to be mobilized to drive value and efficiencies while IT teams understand security, application architecture and access to ensure standards are met for development and deployment. But to truly be successful, both business unit leaders and IT must work together as one cohesive unit and resist the urge to operate in silos that only pursue their own interests.

2. Adopt unified platforms to improve security

As Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) remains the common policy in the workplace, employees are demanding that IT support their preferred mobile devices. Since there are numerous devices used in the workplace, organizations must find unified platforms that support them all, including smartphones, tablets and wearables. Unified platforms reduce operating system (OS) complexity and enable seamless data access and user engagement. It also enables organizations to integrate and streamline diverse mobile devices across the enterprise. Without device unification, each new touch point will increase vulnerability gaps that need to be secured.

3. Embrace analytics

Incorporating analytics into business apps helps companies learn how its apps are being used, while generating important analytics for each mobile OS. The ability to analyze all relevant data and deliver actionable information is proven to increase organizational productivity and efficiency.

4. Employ cloud computing  

TBR predicts worldwide public cloud revenue will hit $167B in 2020, with much of the profits coming from enterprise buyers. The demand for cloud services exists because it can support and streamline mobility and keep it flexible. It’s also more agile than traditional IT software while not compromising security.

5. Consider Mobile App Workflows

Apps need to be integrated to get the job done. Having one app that can do 100 tasks, instead of 100 different apps that each do one task is much more efficient, and provides for a richer, more simplified user experience. When users have access to one mobile app that can do a variety of tasks including expense reporting, timesheets, PTO requests, and invoicing, they can be much more efficient.

6. Utilize a hybrid approach to development

Hybrid mobile app development is a more flexible approach that looks and feels like a native application without complex coding. When organizations implement hybrid apps, they can spend more time addressing business problems instead of dealing with coding issues. Since hybrid applications can be considered a sister of native applications, they work in the same way and utilize mobile device features including camera and GPS.

7. Create a Mobility Center of Excellence

Enhance and mobilize the app deployment activities in your organization through a mobile center of excellence. Forrester defines a mobile center of excellence as a “coordinating force comprising approximately 25 to 100 technology and business staff under the leadership of a senior executive and a supporting mobile architecture council.”

8. Establish a Mobile-First Culture  

IT, LOB and corporate innovation teams must work to establish a mobile-first work culture in which user experience, workflows, and security are prioritized above all else. If mobile evangelists can create excitement for app transformation enterprise wide, then it can become less cumbersome and the catalyst for a bigger digital transformation strategy. Mobility is meant to improve, not hinder your work processes and make work more enjoyable for your teams. When people are happy with the tools they have to use, they are more efficient, move processes along faster, and have a higher level of employee satisfaction.

Future proofing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy, as no organization has the same needs. Regardless, it is the responsibility of corporate leadership to identify best practices and solutions related to mobile app design, development, deployment, security and governance that work best based on their culture and norms. The long-term survival of the organization, especially its mobile workforce, depends on a future proofed mobility strategy that sees past the basic needs of today and proactively addresses the demands and expectations of tomorrow.

This blog post originally appeared in ITProPortal