As both businesses and consumers flock to mobile device utilization, there is a growing need for enterprises to develop strategies around mobile applications and devices. There are distinct advantages to using mobile devices in the workplace such as greater mobility, higher productivity, and more.
There are challenges with enterprise mobile devices as well, which begs the need for a comprehensive mobile strategy tailored to the enterprise.
When developing a mobile strategy for your business, consider the following issues:
Personal use versus enterprise use - businesses can benefit from the round-the-clock connectivity that is available with mobile devices. Employees and managers can tap into the corporate network at any time to resolve issues or make important business decisions. However these same mobile devices are also used for personal purposes in many cases. This poses a challenge for business in making sure corporate information is kept secured while also allowing employees flexibility.
Enterprise security - a security policy should be developed around mobile device use to make sure employees are protected from potential viruses or identity theft and also to keep enterprise information safe from hackers or corporate espionage efforts. Security could be applied at the device or operating system level or for specific applications - or both, depending on your particular corporate security requirements.
IT resources for mobile management - with the increased number of mobile devices and the various types that are available, corporate IT groups can be taxed from a resource standpoint as well as a policy standpoint to support all of the various brands and systems. Businesses will need to determine their policy regarding support of the devices and how that support will be maintained. For example, if the business chooses to support Blackberry, how much investment should there be for a Blackberry Enterprise Server and the resources to support it?
Regulatory compliance - particularly in the health care industry, but other industries also must address federal, state and local policies regarding information that is made available on mobile platforms. HIPAA regulations are very stringent in this area, so compliance is mandatory for health care providers to be sure their mobile device and applications abide by the regulations that are outlined.
Productivity metrics - mobile devices open up opportunities to monitor worker productivity like never before. Applications can pin point worker location, the tasks that are being performed, and the time it takes to complete each assignment. This can be extremely helpful in boosting corporate productivity, but there is a fine line to cross regarding individual privacy. Mobile strategies should carefully address this issue to make sure there are no breaches that could cause legal issues.
The mobile revolution has proven to be a very positive advancement overall. Consumers are extremely satisfied as mobile device purchases exponentially increase. Corporations are also enjoying the benefits of a mobile workforce and using enterprise applications from virtually anywhere in the world. To make sure your business is able to reap the benefits of mobile devices, make sure you have in place a comprehensive mobile strategy that will benefit your business, stay compliant, and help your employees to be more productive.