The widespread consumer adoption of mobile technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, the world is now more connected and informed than ever before. In fact, well over 6 billion individuals currently hold an active cell phone plan.
Despite its usefulness, there are some drawbacks. The risk of leaking personal or sensitive information and the potential to ignore your daily responsibilities in lieu of browsing the internet are all too real. Not only does this underscore the importance of establishing a mobile device policy in your workplace, but the quickened pace of the industry in general means you have to act sooner rather than later.
Employees who furnish their own mobile devices are by far the majority. When done strictly for business, this trend, known as bring-your-own-device or BYOD, is perfectly viable for many companies. However, there are a number of concerns inherent to the BYOD approach. For starters, who is responsible for paying for the device? Will individual employees have to foot the bill themselves, or will the company cover the added expense?
Monthly subscription fees, maintenance fees and even replacement costs also need to be considered, especially if you plan on paying for your employees’ equipment. This can add up to significant amounts over the course of time, especially when dozens or hundreds of employees are involved, so it’s critical to weigh all of your options before coming to a decision.
Ensuring Compatibility Between Devices
Companies that provide their workers with cell phones or other mobile devices usually have few issues achieving full compatibility between devices, and as an extension, between staff members. Those who rely on the BYOD plan, however, are bound to run into obstacles. Not only do you need to achieve compatibility between the devices of your staff members at the present time, but you’ll also want to put some thought into maintaining that compatibility over the course of time.
Securing Online and Offline Access
Employees who have access to critical enterprise data, business records or any sort of personal data also raise a number of concerns over security. While a lot of time is spent safeguarding online servers, websites and databases, some companies, especially novice startups, tend to ignore their offline systems. Although you might have a solid defense against any hackers or potential identity thieves, an employee with local access could still wreak havoc on an unsecured hard drive or server.
This also brings up the issue of terms, conditions and agreements that apply to such access as well as any corrective or disciplinary actions that may be taken if a violation is found. As you can see, the process of outlining a security protocol that pertains to mobile device usage is not something to be taken lightly.
Embracing and Moderating Technology
Believe it or not, it is possible to fully embrace mobile technology while still moderating its usage. In fact, it’s an art form that needs to be mastered by any entrepreneur who hopes to run a successful business in the 21st century.
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