With 50 million tablets purchased in the past year, mobile technology is on a meteoric rise. Indeed, over the past 20 years, while our desktops have remained largely the same, mobile computing is arguably the industry success story. But for many IT managers, the consumerisation of IT poses a massive headache, potentially creating security risks for businesses. This fear is fuelled further by the worry that introducing mobile working will be expensive and difficult to co-ordinate.
This mindset has deterred many businesses from embracing the “mobile revolution”. In fact, recent research conducted by FileMaker revealed that 40 per cent of employers refuse to permit mobile access to work resources. However, this strict policy does not mean that mobile devices are not being used in the workplace - the research also showed that the use of smartphones and tablets is on the rise, with 37 per cent of those surveyed noting that they are using mobile devices to access work information more frequently than they did a year ago.
Businesses can no longer clamp down on mobile devices as they could in the past, banning personal devices altogether from the workplace. The trend for consumerisation of IT means that what were once separate personal and professional devices are becoming inextricably linked. In fact, ignoring mobile working and not implementing a formal policy to adapt to this shift will only lead to problems for businesses.
Instead, mobile working should be embraced. It can offer a competitive edge for businesses across the UK enabling employees to work on the go, share information as it is processed, thereby increasing staff productivity. By following some simple steps and by facing up to what mobile really means for your business, tablets in the workplace can offer a competitive edge for organisations and need not be avoided.
Communicate with your employees
Our research showed that 47 per cent of workers feel that their personal devices are more effective than their work devices. So businesses need to find out what it is that users like about their own devices and why the technology they use in the workplace doesn’t live up to these expectations. Clarify why mobile working is being deployed in certain areas of the business and not in others and, crucially, make sure your employees know what is expected from them in terms of data security.
Focus on the end result
Providing your employees with mobile technology shouldn’t just mean helping them access emails on the go or making their IT more user-friendly. Be clear about what unique benefits mobile working can really offer your business and encourage staff to capitalise on these opportunities.
Equip employees with the correct applications
To really make the best of mobile computing, the correct data solutions and programmes must be employed. This doesn’t need to be expensive and it is only with the right software your business will achieve the best results.
Security by the book, not a brick wall
Security is important. But this alone should not prevent a mobile deployment or upgrade from going ahead. With the right software and plan in place, the benefits of mobile working can heavily outweigh the cons.