The proliferation of mobile devices in businesses has created an unprecedented challenge for the enterprise. Corporate owned mobile devices are being used to access and store sensitive information. Lost or stolen mobile devices present security threats to the organization. Enterprises are forced to balance user needs for mobile devices for anywhere, anytime access with strict requirements for device and data security.

Cloud service providers conscious of the disaster recovery and security needs of the enterprise have off-loaded the task of managing and securing mobile devices to their cloud based applications. Enterprises can now have centralized control over the corporate-owned mobile devices. They can secure the mobile device, using monitoring and controlling software provided by the cloud service and even restrict unauthorized browsing; voice and SMS usage in the devices for cost savings. Incidentally, the service also helps the enterprise meet the demands of local compliance and privacy laws.

Many cloud service providers are now offering support for a variety of mobile devices and operating systems. iOS, Android, Blackberry, Symbian and Windows mobiles—to name a few– are supported.

The common cloud based mobile services are being deployed to service the needs of small and medium enterprises that cannot afford large CAPEX are:

  1. Managed cloud based services that eliminate up front investments of dedicated server environments.
  2. Rapid deployment services that are scalable and can support incremental mobile devices.
  3. Unified management portals that deliver operational efficiency and savings by providing a single window view into the mobile device environment.
  4. Remote selective wipe features that detect if a mobile device has been lost and kicks into action to prevent data theft.
  5. Real time usage notification and enforcement services that detects roaming data, voice or SMS usage thresholds and prevents unwanted billing.
  6. Real time notification Service level agreements that guarantee alerts within 15 minutes of mobile usage that compromises established corporate policies.
  7. Set up and ongoing 24 x 7 support systems for policy setup, device configuration and technical support.

The visible business benefits to the organizations from mobile services in the cloud include centralized control over mobile devices, faster time to service customer requests, significant savings in cost and compliance, and risk mitigation.