Mobility management should center on policy
Companies rely on policies to govern the actions of employees in any number of areas. There are policies for taking vacation time, policies for the use of the office printer and policies for spending discretionary funds, among many others. So why aren't more companies leveraging an enterprise mobility management policy?
It seems simple enough. Employees who are issued smartphones and tablets should be told what type of use is suitable on the company's dime. Likewise, since those devices are being used to connect to the enterprise network it's necessary that mobile professionals understand what data they can access.
Simple, right? Apparently not so for many organizations, as the lack of enterprise mobility management policies is a bit surprising. It's as if companies are giving employees more access to critical data than ever before with less oversight than even the most relaxed organization is accustomed to.
At Visage Mobile, we believe that a deployment of smartphones and tablets should always be accompanied by some sort of policy. Whether it's to address wireless expense management processes, access to information, or guidelines for mixed use (when a device serves both work and personal needs), some things need to be placed in writing.
While managers within a company agree with such thinking – we have the data to show they do – not much is being done about it.
Dimensional Research recently conducted a poll of 741 IT professionals to benchmark the effects of consumerization on enterprise mobility. The mobile policy is one area that the survey touched on.
"On the policy front, IT pros are in agreement that companies should have a policy in place for supporting personal devices used for work purposes," according to Network World contributor Anna Bednarz.
Eight-eight percent of respondents said having a mobile policy to support various devices was either important or very important. But the number of respondents whose companies practice what they preach did not reveal quite the same strong enthusiasm.
Just 17 percent of respondents said their companies have a policy in place to support all consumer-based devices. Another 19 percent said they have a limited list of devices they are willing to support. Another 33 percent of respondents admitted their companies were about five to 10 years behind the times, as they don't support any consumer devices.
Of those lacking in the mobile policy department, 18 percent said they have plans to implement one, while 13 percent said they won't be any time soon.
As a recent TechTarget report on the issued showed, all it takes to deal with consumerization is a little enterprise mobility management to make the process work.
In speaking with mobility managers at several companies, TechTarget revealed a number of ways that companies are dealing with the enterprise mobility trend. At one end, stipends are being issued to employees who use devices for both work and personal business, so neither is stuck with the costs associated with the other.