The mobile workforce has become an undeniable facet of business technology. When faced with a quickly changing mobile landscape, companies must consider the how to provide functionality and maintain a competitive edge with efficient business practices.
The Denial Approach
Though it isn’t practical or sustainable, many organizations simply choose to refuse to ignore the growing demand for mobile devices in the enterprise. Many companies cannot keep unwanted mobile devices off their networks, and users can easily connect personal devices unbeknownst to management, resulting in possible data leaks.
The Enterprise-Liable Approach
As demand for mobile capabilities grows, many companies consider taking an enterprise-liable approach, issuing employees mobile phones. This approach gives IT the control over data and security that many CIOs seek. However, CIOs must consider cost in addition to security. Mobile devices are expensive, especially when considering the rapid advancements in technology. A new phone or tablet may be considered ancient in a year or two, and employees will want new devices that take advantage of new technologies. If corporations do not issue new devices, employees will simply take their newer and updated personal devices and resume using them, which puts the company back at square one.
The BYOD Approach
A Bring Your Own Device approach is increasingly popular as companies switch from costly enterprise-liable policies. BYOD policies can improve productivity and morale in the workplace. With a BYOD approach, CIOs can implement policies, governing standards, procedures, and restrictions for employees to use these devices with enterprise data. However, this option is not without pitfalls. A BYOD policy adds possible endpoint data protection issues and data backup functionality to IT complexity. Users often resort to consumer file sync and sharing applications to sync confidential files and folders to their smartphones or tablets, increasing security and compliance risks. To use a BYOD approach safely and responsibly, companies must take measures to mitigate risk while also controlling management and support costs.
Regardless of the how they choose to approach mobile business, companies must consider the advantages and disadvantages of each option when deciding corporate policy. While mobile devices are integral to productivity and efficiency, CIOs balance risks and costs when implementing mobile policy.