Making Mobile Computing Work for Your Company
The speed at which business operates will often necessitate action when you’re away from the office. Even though laptop computers allow us to still remain tethered to our systems even while we’re not at our desks, their design and function was never truly meant to translate to an “on-the-go” environment. That’s one of the main reasons why the proliferation of mobile computing technology to devices such as tablets and smartphones has proven to be so beneficial to business.
The Business Benefits of Mobile Technology
The advantages of using mobile computing technology make implementing such technology into your business operations something you should at the very least consider. The ability to maintain business communications or orchestrate transactions from your tablet or smartphone provides a number of business benefits, including:
- Immediate access to business-critical information
- Lower levels of business disruptions than your competitors
- Increased revenues and profits
Those who’ve yet to realize the business potential to be had from mobile devices fail to see the benefit of being in constant contact with their employees and/or clients. The primary mobile applications used for business are those that allow for collaboration, namely: e-mail, instant messaging, and even social media sites. Other business apps that have been successfully integrated onto mobile devices include office productivity programs and sales and transaction processing suites.
Potential Security Concerns
Yet, the increased use of mobile computing for business purposes has also exposed a number of security risks associated with this technology, chiefly the propensity of employees to lose their devices, or have them stolen. Once a smartphone or tablet that’s connected to your network is out of your hands, the risk of unauthorized access to your sensitive information increases exponentially. Even if you’re able to avoid the loss of any of your company’s mobile devices, you still face the loss of governance over many of the applications used to transmit your business information.
Effectively Managing the Risks
In order to work around these risks, IT experts offer the following advice for fortifying your mobile security:
- Furnish employees with company provided tablets. You can control their configuration so as to only allow for those programs and apps that you have designated as business appropriate.
- When using smartphones, require employees to download your business applications to their own personal devices. They’re more likely to take greater care of a device that they own.
- Make the use of personal passcodes mandatory. This helps ensure that only employees are granted access to their devices.
- Implement more practices and controls to manage risks, such as limiting the use of smartphones and tablets in the workplace to only authorized employees.
- Conduct routine device configuration testing and malware scans. Employees should be prohibited from “jailbreaking” (removing manufacturer-installed malware protections) their devices.
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