A cure for the common mobility cold

Sept. 17, 2013
Mobility challenges got you down? Total Mobility Management can heal your IT woes.

From smartphones and tablets to wireless access at restaurants, airports, hotels and hospitals, mobile technology has transformed our lives radically. Whether it’s providing anytime, anywhere access to friends and family, enabling us to consume, create and share content on the go or staying connected to the office, mobile devices have become our own personal and professional assistants.

Evolving devices and capabilities make mobility a desirable platform for professionals working within the fast-paced and constantly moving healthcare industry, but while other industries are eager to implement mobile platforms for their employees, many healthcare organizations remain cautious – and with good reason.

Security is a top priority for any organization considering a mobility program, but the healthcare industry must also consider HIPAA requirements and the ramifications of patient data loss. Bring your own device (BYOD) can be popular with staff, but requires policies that provide a secure mobile network and protect patient data. CDW research shows that healthcare professionals using their personal mobile devices for work are accessing more than just their email. Many are accessing employee benefit information or patient data – patients and visitors also add to BYOD concerns for healthcare organizations that want to leverage mobility. In environments that need to provide wireless access to both patients and visitors on the same infrastructure used to transmit sensitive information, it is critical to employ an advanced security policy with network requirements that provide a secure experience for all persons who are accessing the network – not only to meet HIPAA regulations, but also to ensure a high-quality experience and use of personal devices. It’s all about finding a careful balance between security needs and patient satisfaction.

With stretched IT resources, healthcare organizations need mobility solutions that complement physician activity and do not interfere with the most important priority: patient care. Almost all healthcare IT professionals we surveyed (97 percent) say their organizations have encountered challenges with mobility adoption. These challenges range from securing network access and data on personal devices to network performance.

So how can an organization turn this complexity into opportunity?

CDW Total Mobility Management is a step in the right direction. Mobility is already part of nearly every conversation we have with customers, whether they’re talking about infrastructure, cloud, collaboration or business applications. Our goal is to provide them with a comprehensive portfolio of solutions and services through which they can procure, configure, manage, empower and report on mobile devices as part of their infrastructure.

Through CDW’s Total Mobility Management, healthcare organizations can simplify mobility in multiple stages, including:

  1. Planning strategies for data access, network infrastructure and connectivity assessment;
  2. Enabling device selection, procurement and deployment;
  3. Protecting investments with device security and expense management;
  4. Supporting users with help desk services, warranty management and MDM tailored to the organization’s requirements; and
  5. Empowering users with application selection, development, deployment and management.

The heart of CDW’s Total Mobility Management platform is a customizable Mobility Management Portal that provides easy access to support and services for users and IT alike. For IT, the portal offers a simple means to implement its governance policy by managing applications and device security, as well as monitoring and managing expenses – not to mention that the portal frees IT’s time from procurement and user support. Instead of coming to IT, users go to a pre-approved catalog of devices and access help desk services through the portal.

Wrapped around the portal, Total Mobility Management offers planning support to help CDW customers develop mobile policies and governance, security profiles and strategies, network assessment and roadmaps – as required to implement strategies and policies. With all of the essentials in place, Total Mobility Management then offers advanced services to empower users and accelerate the value of mobile platforms to the organization, such as access to healthcare-specific commercial apps or development of custom apps specifically for the client’s organization. In fact, there are many apps and healthcare-specific solutions that simultaneously address data security concerns while improving the patient experience and/or the productivity of healthcare staff. For example, there are apps that provide a platform where nurses and doctors can share patient information in a secure environment via text message, as well as apps for patient records that enable healthcare organizations to manage nurses’ rounds or to share general healthcare information.

Better still, Total Mobility Management can pay for itself through reduction of hard costs and enhancements to productivity and effectiveness. One CDW customer explained that the expense management tools alone found devices that hadn’t been used in months, enabling the organization to optimize its voice, data and text plans to only service the capacity needed. Another IT professional noted that before implementing the solution, he was spending 60 to 80 percent of his time fixing people’s problems with their devices – and now he can focus on doing the rest of his job.

Healthcare organizations have much to gain from the mobility revolution. Staff wants to select and connect the devices they choose, which can improve the patient experience greatly. However, it changes the approach of the IT department and tears down the walls that once separated enterprise computing from the rest of the world. With Total Mobility Management, we have the tools to help IT embrace the revolution and convert mobility into strategic advantage – so let’s look beyond smartphones and tablets, and consider total, comprehensive and secure mobility management to further enable the healthcare delivery mission of better patient care and satisfaction.

About the author

Andrea Bradshaw, senior director and general manager, mobility solutions, CDW, has 20 years of technology experience and is widely recognized as both an expert and market maker in mobile technology. Bradshaw recognizes that business today is less about one-to-one communication via mobile devices and more about the connection to enterprise IT networks and the work processes they enable. To learn more about CDW’s Total Mobility Management solution, visit www.cdw.com/mobility.

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