The Key to BYOD? It’s the Data, Of Course
Millions of smartphones have invaded the workplace in recent years — and millions more are on the way. But it’s not the devices themselves that deserve so much of the chatter surrounding “BYOD.” Yes, legions of workers have made their smartphones and tablets integral parts of both their professional and personal lives. But for CIOs and CEOs, it isn’t the device they’re bringing that matters at all — it’s the invaluable data streams that course through them when they’re on the job.
Everyone can discuss and debate which device, what platform, which apps — but at a higher level, the end-game is all about the data. Forward-thinking technology managers are looking to get access to actionable mobility data to drive business, not just distribute phones. After all, the devices are simply the empty conduits of that data. And the data holds the keys to streamlining communication, tracking user behavior, managing costs and a host of other key business functions.
Smart Mobile Management
With the proliferation of smartphones and ease of access to data, companies are managing BYOD policies whether they want to admit it or not. Some are implementing new processes to get on top of all that data and put it to work. Others aren’t yet up to speed — and are increasingly prone to leaving their organizations vulnerable to security breaches, out-of-control spending and behavior, and unclear (or nonexistent) employee communication policies.
Smart mobility management means having the tools and technology to securely manage the constant data exchanges between your mobile workforce, back-end systems and inventory, assets, customer services, and more. The process needs to consider personal privacy, ease of adoption, and effective management of company data. Where can mobility data make a difference to the bottom line? Naturally, it varies from industry to industry. In just one sector — field service — here’s what mobility data is helping enable:
- Improved visibility to work assigned to field service crews, which fosters reduced fuel costs, travel times, and first-time fix rates.
- Improved job assignments based on immediate availability, current location, or skill set.
- Increased productivity due to more efficient planning of resources.
- Improved inventory control with real-time visibility into parts on hand.
- Increased collection rates with mobile invoicing at the time of service.
- Improved customer interactions, with access to historical data that enables sales professional to follow up on services offered.
New companion strategies to BYOD, including Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM), are evolving to help companies manage their data.These solutions provide ways to distribute applications and data to approved employee devices, corporate- or personally owned, while providing tools to support them in the field. Companies can set data encryption criteria, establish role-based access to data, and set parameters for deleting data or decommissioning a device from the system.
Ultimately, BYOD and companion mobility strategies are all about empowering your business and employees by securely delivering the right data, at the right time, to the right employee and device.
Image used under Creative Commons by Flickr user TIC Colombia.