Neil Jones is a Level III Senior Systems Engineer with Nexxtep. He recently completed a Mobile Competency Training course offered by Apple. This training offered insight into managing Apple's iOS products in the business environment, from both a technical and strategic standpoint.
If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android device, you probably use it for something like this:
But chances are, you also use it for something like this:
When iPhones and iPads first came on the scene, we used them for games, social networks, light email and web surfing. These fun, intuitive devices became our favorite toys. Now, they have also become powerful business tools. Since smartphones and tablets started off as consumer products, a lot of people use their personal devices for work. In IT, we call this "BYOD" (Bring Your Own Device).
It's easy to take a cavalier approach with your personal devices. One minute you're answering a critical work-related email, and the next you're honing your artistic talent in Draw Something. It might be a pain to have to enter a complex password every time you want to access your business applications, but remember that you're carrying around a powerful computer with access to your company's information.
So even though you might think of your device as a toy, when you use it for work, it's no different than using this:
If your company uses the BYOD approach, make sure that you have a policy in place that outlines how you'll manage these devices. The biggest threat to mobile users is having your device lost or stolen, so you may need the capability to remotely wipe devices, even if your employee owns the device.
We recently partnered with an organization to setup new iPads for their employees. The owner asked us how to keep the iPads from getting lost or stolen. You can't. They have a strange tendency to grow legs and walk away. However, you can make sure your data isn't compromised. To keep their information safe, we made sure all of their proprietary information was centralized, secure and encrypted. No business data will be held on the iPads; all of it will be accessed from the Internet. If an employee's iPad is stolen, we can wipe the device and prevent a thief from accessing sensitive information and putting the organization at risk of being sued.
Navigating Uncharted Waters
Mobile device management is a fairly new concept. The path to making a stable and secure environment is still uncertain, but Nexxtep is trying to take the lead in this area. We offer mobile device management, setup, security and training as a part of our N-Care Flex plan.
To learn more about N-Care Flex and our mobile management services, contact us here.