What seemed to be a far-fetched idea or an unclear, undefined entity, a few years ago, is what is ruling the world of business today. Enterprise mobility.
People are all for the concept of “bringing their own devices” at their workplaces these days. More than 60% of workers have access to their company data or work through their smartphones and tablets. Interestingly, only about a third of business enterprises have any kind of BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) management strategy in place.
“People are bringing their own devices, but in many cases, they and their companies are not taking care of those devices and the applications on them appropriately.”, says Richard Absalom, consumer impact technology analyst at Ovum.
It is very important to have a proper Enterprise Mobility Management strategy for every organization, especially since most of them are spending a pretty significant amount on mobility.
Here is what you can do to better manage enterprise mobility.
Any BYOD policy has to be developed with inputs from all over the organization. Driven by the CIO, BYOD management efforts should involve everyone from developers to users to the IT team. Even the human resource and legal departments have to be included. As it means an entire culture change in the organization, it necessitates the need for everyone to be on the same page, about what can and cannot be accessed over personal devices.
The use of mobile devices automatically implies the use of various technologies offered by them such as Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, cameras, audio recorders and other sensors. Widespread use of such technologies across the organization may cause loss of data and even loss of important intellectual property to be looming concerns. Imagine the consequences of loss of an in-house video of an application’s development processes! Worse yet, are the legal implications of the same, or of other videos involving the organization’s officials in compromising positions. Hence, BYOD policies should be formulated after taking into consideration these aspects as well.
An Exit or Loss Policy
While devising BYOD policies, something that people generally tend to miss out, is an exit strategy. When an employee in any department of an organization leaves, he will be carrying a lot of information concerning his department on his smartphone, with him. This is a huge loss for the organization.
“When an employee leaves, say in sales, and they take all of the contacts on their personal phone, that is a big corporate asset that goes missing.”- Absalom
Hence, you need to develop appropriate theft, loss as well as exit policies. Along with technical issues you need to raise the security stakes. You need to find a balance with all these features and risks, so as to protect your employees’ personal information as well as your business reputation.
Usage of insecure Wifi networks might need separate provisions in a BYOD policy since their security measures are very limited. For example, some WiFi networks may be labeled as “off-limits” on the basis of security alerts. Devices used in an enterprise should be protected against possible loss of data and attacks. An organization has to make sure that all the personal devices are well in line with the enterprise security standards. Encryption and access control are ways in which valuable corporate data residing on any device can be protected.
Credentials for users, such as usernames and passwords, need to be created securely with utmost care. Credentials which may be sufficient for certain kinds of applications may not be suitable for other kinds of applications that need more security. Short number strings for example,while may be appropriate authentication for a user on game leaderboards and scoreboards, they won’t be enough for a social networking application.
All of these practices call for crisp and clear policy guidelines. Their compliance needs to be made mandatory as well. You need to make sure that all your employees are well aware of the rules regarding joining, leaving or altering their role or participation in a BYOD initiative. Signatures on policy agreements need to be made compulsory. Absalom also said that it would be good to have all employees agree to legally upholding their policies and to getting their devices locked on events of it being stolen, lost or compromised in any way.
Hence, if well managed, enterprise mobility can be the best thing that ever happened to your business. Keep the above pointers in mind, embrace mobility and manage it efficiently.
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