The consumerization of IT has really done a number on the enterprise. New research by Forrester indicates the many ways employee-owned devices are challenging how IT manages them.
Lessons for the Mobile Enterprise
10 Lessons Learned From Early Adopters Of Mobile Device Management Solutions not only highlights the proliferation of employee-owned mobile devices within companies, but how they have essentially “crippl[ed] infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals’ existing mobile strategies, tools, and people resources.” As a result, organization are conducting internal audits with an investment in mobile device management (MDM) solutions.
From among 600 of its clients, Forrester reviewed next-generation mobile strategies to determine how organizations were managing and securing data, selecting devices and platforms to support, as well as when to support them. Among the most interesting lessons learned are a few that we found especially useful.
Engage & Learn
IT is no longer a siloed department. Rather, to better understand its priorities, it needs to learn more about its colleagues’ technology needs and preferences. Taking inventory not only helps employees think critically about how they work, but it also helps IT efficiently prioritize hardware and software deployments.
Create one policy for both corporate, employee-owned devices
Once their users’ requirements are better understood, organizations need to address how they can deliver on those. To do that, a mobile policy is required. The mobile policy should not only account for the changing device landscape in their organizations, but also set expectations upfront and show clear usage guidelines that explain which employees are eligible for which devices.
Support employee-owned devices, with limits
While Mobile Device Management solutions allow for the ability to manage the consumer platforms that employees already own and are already using for work, they also pose concerns about which devices to support and how much access these devices should receive, as well as who pays for them. An organization’s mobile policy should reflect this with clear guidelines for support.
The Mobile Enterprise is Here to Stay
Bottom line: your employees’ personal mobile devices are not going away, no matter how hard you try to restrict their use. Instead of fighting it and risking losing sensitive information, embrace it by engaging with users to learn more about how and why they use them to complete work. As with most business processes, the more clearly you outline and share expectations and usage guidelines, the more effective you’ll be at managing them. Subsequently, investing in MDM solutions will help manage devices as they evolve.
What have you learned from supporting employee-owned devices? Share your lessons with us.