The mobile business revolution is officially here. Some 200 million people currently use their mobile devices for work and that figure is expected to reach 350 million by next year. What’s more, the numbers are expected to double every two years. According to a recent survey, workers are using mobile devices to work longer hours and increase productivity. Employees use their mobile phones and tablets for work not just at the office, but also at home, in coffee shops, hotels, and airports as well as on public transportation. Quite simply, the age of the mobile workforce has arrived.
Companies are responding in kind and some 70% of mobile workers are now authorized by their companies to use their devices for work. Meanwhile over half of businesses are actively making mobile business apps available for employees. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) also helps companies lower procurement costs by making employees responsible for their own devices.
Employees today are using their devices for a lot more than email. They’re utilizing them to access enterprise systems, collaborate, share files and work from almost everywhere. While universal mobile business productivity apps are very popular, the big challenge is adding mobile front ends to the most widespread enterprise software suites. In the not too distant future it’s expected that workers will be able to perform all the tasks they do via their PCs on their mobiles. Factory directors will be able to order parts, marketing managers will be able to access analytics and sales representatives visiting clients will be able to check inventory, all from their mobile devices.
Data Security in the Mobility Age
On the down side mobile use increases security risks. This necessitates a well-defined data security strategy. Here are some tips for ensuring secure data in the age of BYOD.
• To stay on top of where data is being sent, companies should be able to view data at mobile endpoints as well as track file transfers.
• Wiping capabilities should be deployed enabling immediate deletion of sensitive information in case a device is lost or stolen or if an employee leaves the company.
• A blacklisting application should be installed on all devices to ensure malicious programs are not used.
• An education program should be instituted to teach employees to only use secure Wi-Fi connections and employ screen locks and password protection.