Enterprise Mobility Suite a management option for health IT department

Microsoft's introduction of Office for iPad overshadowed an announcement that may have a greater effect on healthcare.

When Microsoft announced it would make Office apps available on the iPad, they also slipped in the introduction of a product that can help large organizations manage their mobility needs. Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite offers enterprise IT a way to assist with their cloud-based identity services, mobile device management and data protection capabilities in the cloud.

Microsoft identified an opportunity to help tackle the challenges their enterprise clients face, some of which include managing applications, data and security. These three areas are of particular concern for healthcare IT departments.

Hybrid identity and user access management are areas that several IT departments have been exploring. With the increase in the number of systems being accessed, where these systems reside can pose a challenge during the authentication process. In its Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) offering, Microsoft has included a platform with several self-service capabilities to allow users to manage their own needs and leverage the cloud-based active directory.

Mobile device management is considered an area that has already matured. There are a number of these tools available to IT departments, from Dell's KACE K3000 to AirWatch. Microsoft sees this maturation as an opportunity to more deeply integrate mobile device management products with their operating systems and offer capabilities that could impress enterprise IT groups. They also feature Intune, a product that can be used as a cloud-based system center.

Azure Rights Management is another of the products that Microsoft announced along with EMS. For the many organizations already using Microsoft tools to store and manage content, Azure will provide them additional assistance in controlling and protecting digital content to ensure compliance.

Microsoft continues to enhance what it offers to enterprise clients. The cloud-based services benefit many users by reducing complexity and enhancing end user experience through self-service offerings. When it comes to using cloud services, security remains one of the chief concerns for many healthcare IT executives. Microsoft does engage in HIPAA business associate agreements with its subscribers which, for some, is a step in the right direction.

About the author:
Reda Chouffani is vice president of development at Biz Technology Solutions Inc., which provides software design, development and deployment services for the healthcare industry. Let us know what you think about the story; email
 editor@searchhealthit.com or contact @SearchHealthIT on Twitter.

This was first published in June 2014

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