According to recent data, global mobile data traffic grew 81 percent in 2013 and last year’s mobile data traffic was nearly 18 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000.
Mobile devices continue their staggering growth. Smartphone usage grew 50 percent in 2013. There are now 92 million mobile-connected tablets and 22 million wearable devices generating 1.7 petabytes of monthly traffic (that’s 1,700,000 gigabytes!).
These are mind-boggling numbers and by the end of 2014 these numbers will have swelled even more as more of your employees upgrade to smartphones, tablets and phablets (half phone, half tablet). As usage grows and more devices enter the market you face the challenge of offering your connected staff the right solutions to let them work productively but remain secure.
The world of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD)
Staff who have their own smart device expect to be able to use it for work on the work network and with work data. If done correctly this technology can be great for staff productivity but beware of security loopholes and functionality limitations. In larger businesses there are concerns ranging from lack of simple functionality (e.g. image-based tools that won’t work on smaller screens) to complex applications that simply won’t work at all on mobile devices. Standardisation such as the new HTML5 for apps might reduce some of this headache but not all apps will go to HTML5. Security is also a big issue since IT departments need to standardise and centrally-managed device security to ensure it provides the right level of functionality and is kept up-to-date.
Policies are not enough
Company policies are important but they will only go so far to protect your organisation. It is important to have controls in place to ensure data leaving the organisation, whether it be to staff devices or their Cloud-based applications, are secured or blocked. Thinking strategically about where these mobile devices can be useful to your business and where you can develop apps to improve staff productivity.
Mobile Device Management Solutions
Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions are now available that can offer a range of solutions from basic security through to complex encryption to protect the data that travels between the device and the business network.
Once the MDM layer is in place you can start to manage the applications that are on the devices. You can make decisions about the Bring Your Own Application (BYOA) environment to control which apps can access the corporate network.
You are not alone with the questions you might have about BYOD and BYOA. We are here to help you in your deliberations and deployment of solutions with a view to getting the best out of this relatively new technology sector that offers a great deal at a relatively low cost.