And as enterprise software on mobile devices becomes more popular, that could potentially leave the keys to the kingdom easily available, says
"This is one of the key reasons, why mobile devices are not fully taken advantage of in a business setting. Instead, the remarkable power of modern handsets are mainly used for private and social activities, leaving a considerable opportunity for business enhancement largely untouched," he says.
That is unless you are using business software which is secure by design - and designed for mobile.
"HansaWorld has offered Enterprise Resource Planning software on mobile devices for over eight years now. In that time, we've seen mobility in general, and mobile ERP in particular, explode in popularity. After all, the ability to perform a range of business tasks with your handset is enormously valuable," he says.
Access to the inner workings
However, Sher points out that the idea of access to the inner workings of a company being mobile is likely to be scary to most CIOs and company executives. "Any enterprise system has to have a high level of integrity. If it doesn't, unauthorised persons can get in and manipulate data to their advantage - such as creating payments, marking invoices as paid, or simply corrupting the information which is necessary to run the business."
When the ERP system is on a handset, for obvious reasons the potential problem is amplified. "You want systems running on handsets and tablets to have the same integrity as desktops in the office do," Sher notes.
As the only vendor which offers its full ERP solution on tablets and other mobile devices, he says security is an integral feature of HansaWorld's system. "It's secure by design because none of the company information is kept on the device. The server is hosted in a secure facility and the database is encrypted. The communication between the device and server is also encrypted and, notably, that communication requires very little bandwidth."
A client (rather than a web interface) is installed on the mobile device, which Sher says is intrinsically more secure than using standard internet protocols; additionally, HansaWorld uses proprietary technology for encryption. The client, which requires around 20 megabytes of storage capacity on the handset, processes screens that the server sends. "Low bandwidth is made possible because the client has the same screens as the server side, so it isn't necessary to send all the graphics. Instead, only instructions are exchanged and, again, everything is encrypted," he notes.
Even if a virus affects the handset, or the device is destroyed, there will be no effect on the server-side system.
What about the risk of losing the device? "If you put a smartphone down and you're logged in, there is a definable timeout. You'd need to log in to do anything on the system," Sher says.
While other ERP solution providers are scrambling to put their systems onto mobile devices, the maturity of HansaWorld's offering means vital aspects like security and usability have been thought through and proven in the field. "Our solution works on any suitable mobile device. We've been doing it for a long time, so the system is field-proven. And with awareness of the necessity for security on mobile devices really quite low, our system also delivers inherent security without any requirement for additional third party security software," he concludes.
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