Business is on the move today: Users are long past the days when accessing the enterprise – that is, information resources such as apps, processing, and content – entailed sitting at a desk, inside the four walls of a business entity, with a desktop computer. (As a matter of fact, the aforementioned apps, processing and content may not even reside in the enterprise! The Cloud, Software as a Service (SaaS), Processing as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and so forth can make the virtual office a front-end/back-end constitution).
Just in terms of “moving about,” the venerable laptop computer, whether organization-owned or personal, began changing that. But today, “mobile” devices are generally considered to be those that can be held comfortably in one’s hand, or hands, while performing meaningful computing activities.
An explosion of mobile devices has made mobility not only possible – it’s downright necessary in many business realms. For example, many survey and certification endeavors, such as laboratory accreditation, are now conducted by inspectors utilizing mobile devices.
Whether a device is issued and maintained by the organization, or personally-owned, all manner of mobile assets are punching their way in: iPads, tablets, smartphones, personal data assistants (PDAs), and so on. If your organization is at the threshold of consideration and leverage of mobile, or if there is an informal migration to increasing use, there are some important factors that you must take into account – and we’ll explore those in the coming days.
One of the first gates the modern organization must navigate through is that of BYOD: Bring Your Own Device. We’ve discussed this in the past, and it’s whether the organization deems to grant access to enterprise apps, processing and data by personally-owned mobile devices. Ensure a robust BYOD policy if folks are to utilize their own assets (when possessing them). We’ll expose a robust template for a BYOD policy a bit later in the series; for now, recognize that TCO can be lowered considerably when capturing best use of personally-owned assets, as there is little to no capital expenditure in capturing the use of these existing devices. Just be sure to apply the same security considerations, and maintenance protocols, to this class of device (and associated users).
In Part II, we’ll dig into the advantages, challenges, and intelligent use of mobile devices – beginning with training.