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Determining a Mobile Strategy

Written by Alan Giles On the 0 Comments

So I’ve rolled out a bunch of mobile phones and tablets across the organization, that should be it, right? Everybody is happy – well, aren’t they? How are you going to justify the large spend on these devices, how are you going to measure ROI? What was the driver to deploy the devices in the first place?

Almost always the answer is productivity gains, but is this achieved by simply providing a device? The easy part is providing a device to an employee; not many employees are going to say ‘No thanks!’ The difficult part is to ensure that the recipient uses the device productively for work, and that your deployment is targeted and continuously measured.

Managing a mobile device fleet need not be a large and all-consuming task as long as you plan ahead, and provide tangible benefit and risk assessment for your organization. These are some of the things to consider before undertaking a mobility project.

What do I need to allow?

This is a very different discussion to the traditional ‘What should I restrict?’ type of thinking prevalent in many security/control policies. Be open to the thinking that the devices you are providing are mostly consumer devices, and that your end-users will use them for consumer-type activities as well as corporate use. Create clear guidelines that take this into account. Also, take a decision on whether the mobile devices under your supervision are going to be owned by the organization, owned by the employee or a mixture of both.

This will help you when you determine who is provided access to what kind of data and when. Build a mobility policy, incorporating some of the following thoughts:

How diverse a mobile fleet should I encourage?

iOS and Windows devices are easy to manage as there are few variants to deal with, but decide early in the process around your policy for Android devices, as the software/hardware combinations are endless.

What usage policies can I allow? Is there anything I need to disallow?

These policies can be determined on an individual/group/organization basis, so be flexible. Two users in the same team may not necessarily need the same access to apps and data.

Do I need a ‘whitelist’ of applications/data on each device?

You may want to have a base level of apps and data that everyone needs as a minimum. This may be a CRM app, a productivity suite, a consistent set of sales material, presentations, pricelists, expense forms, UC tools, the list goes on. You could decide that access to corporate email is dependent on this data being present on the device.

Is the organization going to provide an apps store?

Providing access to a corporate app store is a very effective way of managing the apps and the data utilized by these apps. Being able to monitor license requirements, usage and risk association of corporately provided apps should be a cornerstone of a mobility strategy. As an organization, providing ‘managed’ applications is also a nice way of encouraging BYOD, as it offers isolation of corporate and private data.

Is ‘blacklisting’ necessary?

If the device is owned by the organization, it may be appropriate to restrict the kinds of internet activity that is possible on the device to ensure that corporate responsibility issues do not arise.

Should you allow users to enable themselves?

Providing access to a self-service portal that is simple, intuitive, yet powerful enough to deliver value can save an organization a lot of time, effort, and ultimately, money. Allowing your users to enrol and enable their device can take away a lot of resource requirements from IT.

Have a ‘what if’ plan:

Make sure that users understand where to go and what to do if they lose or damage their device. Self-service won’t be for everyone, and losing a mobile device can be a very stressful experience.

Make your mobility strategy an ever-evolving process:

Involve your users, encourage them to keep you informed of how they are using the devices.

Communicate with the business – the organization should be seen as enabling users, not controlling devices.

Deliver value to the end-user with education around new products, apps, working practices etc.

If you manage to incorporate many of the items above, you will be a long way towards having an inclusive and enabling mobility strategy for your organization.

To learn more and understand how to optimize your mobile strategy, speak to a mobile device expert at Snow today.