Employees have access to two or more devices in the workplace, creating a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) landscape that makes it imperative for businesses to examine the cross-use of personal and business devices in the office, a recent study conducted by Apperian confirms.
There was a time when employers were more likely to supply a work laptop or tablet with the understanding employees don’t use them for personal reasons, and that they keep work off of their personal computers and devices. That’s a policy that’s becoming tough to enforce, given that today’s young office workers are essentially surgically attached to their devices. Smartphones and tablets are no longer distractions so much as appendages; units that help workers to navigate and better understand the world around them. Be that as it may, BYOD can make management a nightmare.
Issues to Consider
A few of the issues that arise when everyone is using their own devices in the office:
- Cross-compatibility. When everyone is on a different brand of phone, it’s hard to get everybody on the same page. Some apps aren’t even available for every version of the same Android phone, let alone Droid, iPhone or BlackBerry.
- Security. When everyone is taking their own devices back and forth from home to work, security can become a major concern. In the days of company-provided laptops and tablets, this wasn’t such a big deal, as you could be fairly certain your employees would use their work devices for work purposes only. Now, you can’t be so sure.
- Licenses. When everyone is on a Windows laptop, everyone can use the office’s license for Microsoft Word. When one person is on Windows, one is on iOS, and one is on a homebrew OS, you’re generally going to have to buy everyone their own individual license for each program, which can be expensive for a small business.
A Possible Solution in Mobility Management
Mobility Management is exactly what it sounds like: a system that allows you to manage your enterprise when it comes to mobile employees. Most phones have apps that allow you to manage employees on the same phones, to share files and apps and so on, but few phones allow you to manage an office network that includes multiple phone manufacturers and operating systems.
An exception to that rule can be found in the BlackBerry 10’s Enterprise Mobility Management system, which allows users to access and connect with iOS devices, as well as those equipped with BlackBerry, and Android. The experience for users of Enterprise Mobility mobile phones is pretty seamless, as you can secure, deploy, manage, remotely control and collaborate with the three big smartphone operating systems.
The idea here is to offer flexibility and accessibility, and, in the area of recruiting, an edge over the competition. It may seem funny that something like this could be a deal breaker, but for many talented young techies, “Can I use my own phone?” can make the difference between doing a good job and a great one.
What are your thoughts on Mobility Management? Share them in the comments.