Rise of the Mobile Workforce: Are Businesses Ready?

August 11, 2015

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Are you ready for a mobile workforce?

The rise of the mobile worker has been in the works for a long time.

You can thank the BlackBerry for spawning an army of on-the-go business users. Or you can take the credit even further and point your finger at smart phones and tablets.

Regardless of who or what gets the credit, there is no denying that we are right smack dab in the middle of a mobile business revolution. Gen X employees are getting exactly what they want.

Insight pulled together a collection of stats that further emphasize the mobile attraction users are experiencing:

  • 66% of employees use personal devices for work purposes
  • 33% of employees that typically work onsite also work away from their desks
  • 61% of smartphone users want one device for both work and home
  • 38% of companies expect to stop providing workers with devices in 2016

 

The latter two stat points are worth discussing further.

While the integration of mobile devices into the workplace is certainly a win-win for employee productivity and morale, it brings complications for mobile device management (MDM).

From a convenience standpoint, it makes sense that users want to run their business and personal data on one device. But this scenario creates an MDM headache for mobile security managers. They are tasked with balancing the usability needs of employees while making sure corporate data isn’t compromised.

BYOD policies are critical for ensuring that this tight balancing act can be achieved.

In an interview with CIO.com, Piero DePaoli, senior director at Symantec, explained, “With a BYOD policy in place, employees are better educated on device expectations and companies can better monitor email and documents that are being downloaded to company or employee-owned devices.”

Nick van Someren, CTO at Good Technology further directed that organizations should “implement mobile security solutions that protect both corporate data and access to corporate systems while also respecting user’s privacy through containerization.”

Taking these policies into consideration, Gartner expects users to have their cake and eat it too. They can use the devices of their choosing, and thanks to BYOD, those devices can be protected in or out of office settings, thus eliminating the need to supply corporate-owned devices.

In order to deliver a BYOD policy that is fair yet demands user accountability, David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, offers this recommendation:

“It is essential that IT specify which platforms will be supported and how; what service levels a user should expect; what the user’s own responsibilities and risk are; who qualifies; and that IT provides guidelines for employees purchasing a personal device for use at work, such as minimum requirements for operating systems.”

Have you mapped out your BYOD policy? Mainframe Services can help you get started.

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