The line between a work device and a personal device is blurrier than ever. People are already accustomed to constantly checking their email on their smartphone or tablet, and want the same for other work-related tools.
More people are working remotely, and the office is shifting away from a place where people go and sit in front of the same work PC every day. The BYOD (bring your own device) trend is something businesses can’t ignore.
If accessing professional networks and information is difficult or clunky on mobile devices, it makes working on the go and keeping up to date inefficient and frustrating.
That means companies have to balance the convenience of letting workers use their own device with the added security, but increased expense, of providing company-owned devices. But even companies that choose the latter will have to account for personal devices, as this chart from Business Insider Intelligence shows:
That chart, and the many others like it, scare IT people. It’s their job to protect the company’s data and secure its internal network, which becomes dramatically more difficult when devices are physically remote or outside of the corporate network.
Dealing with that disconnect has led to a burgeoning software industry in mobile device management (MDM). A variety of companies have stepped up to allow companies to track, encrypt, update, remote wipe, and generally manage devices of all types through the cloud and through more traditional on-premise means.
The sheer variety and volume of devices means outside help is usually needed. Gartner predicts that 65 per cent of enterprises will adopt a new MDM system over the next five years.
Business Insider Intelligence spoke to Ahmed Datoo, CMO of Zenprise (recently bought by Citrix) which is one of the most popular MDM vendors, and he revealed a four-step progression that most businesses will take.
This is where a surprising amount of businesses are right now. Almost a third of the Chief Information Officers in a recent survey said they don’t have a formal mobile management strategy. That’s an increasingly risky and inefficient state of affairs.
These are businesses that have done the minimum, letting employees know what devices and operating systems they can manage, and have software and security solutions for those devices.
These companies either allow employees to formally integrate apps, content, and other tools into their workflow, or build them on their own.
Those organisations that make creating apps and mobile-first solutions a core part of their strategy.
The security, productivity, and efficiency cases for bringing mobile onboard are overwhelming. Soon, being able to accommodate employees’ devices is going to be the baseline. Doing innovative things with them is going to be a competitive advantage.
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