Organizations continue to invest in mobile, according to a recent IDC report. Global spending on mobile hardware, software and services is expected to increase 4.3 percent to $1.58 trillion in 2017 and reach $1.72 trillion by 2021.
While growth has slowed in the consumer sector, mobile investments are picking up steam in the business sector. In fact, industries that are traditionally resistant and slow to change, such as construction, are turning to mobile to streamline processes and gain competitive advantages.
However, many organizations are still reluctant to implement a mobile device strategy. Mobile adoption is complicated. What devices, operating systems and applications will you support? How will employees access company data? How will you enforce security policies and maintain regulatory compliance? What capital and operational costs are involved? What goals do you hope to achieve, and how will mobile help you achieve them?
Also, legacy IT infrastructure and applications weren’t designed for mobile. For example, desktop applications don’t always transfer well to mobile devices. Mobile is focused on the user, not the technology. The mobile user prioritizes flexibility, agility and scalability, three characteristics that are often lacking in legacy infrastructure.
To maximize productivity when implementing mobile technology and services, managers and supervisors may need to adapt their management style. Mobile allows people to work from anywhere, so managers should evaluate employees based on performance and productivity, not time spent in the office. Mobile works best when employees are empowered to complete tasks and meet goals regardless of location. Reviews and check-ins can be used to hold employees accountable.
While flexibility is important, organizations must create and strictly enforce policies for acceptable use of mobile technology, security and compliance, how to report and respond to a security incident, and other issues. At the same time, employee input and feedback on mobile policies must be considered, and regular training should be provided.
Mobile device management is critical to a secure mobile environment and a productive mobile workforce. Although mobile has become a business necessity, it also creates a larger and often more vulnerable attack surface for cybercriminals.
To limit exposure, specify approved devices and applications, and determine the level of network access required by various user groups. What types of work functions are required by users to do their jobs? Do they need to store, share or change data? Configure access controls accordingly. Roles and responsibilities should also be identified and documented to ensure mobile devices and access are approved, and user accounts are properly provisioned. If a user leaves, that access must be promptly revoked.
The right approach to mobile device management is determined in large part by how much control you want to have. Will you issue company-owned devices or allow employees to use their personal devices? Both approaches have pros and cons. For example, company-owned devices are simpler to secure, while employee-owned devices offer more flexibility and are typically preferred by employees.
A mobile device management platform will provide you with greater control over mobile access, user authentication, and security policy enforcement. It allows you to separate company and personal information, remotely update software, and monitor usage.
The world has gone mobile, and it’s not going back. Organizations that fail to embrace mobile risk being left behind. Let SSD help you create or enhance your mobile strategy to maximize productivity and security, and minimize complexity and confusion.