Developing a business mobile strategy – what you need to think about
We’re now more connected than ever – especially through mobile devices that we carry with us all the time. If we’re not working at a desk, most organisations can give their users access to work systems through their mobile phones.
Smartphones can free us from the 9 to 5, unchain us from our desks and enable us to work wherever and whenever we want. However, they can bring challenges that must be considered and overcome.
Here are some thoughts to consider when developing a mobile strategy.
Employees may prefer to use their own devices
Staff will have their own mobile phones and tablets, and most probably use these for work as well as play. Bring your own device (BYOD) can cause a dilemma for IT departments, as the use of personal devices to access company applications and data can lead to security risks and other technical issues.
Staff will use their own devices to download all sorts of information, like apps and games and visit unsecure sites. They may not be careful about separating and securing company data from everything else. What happens if they download a mobile game with hidden malware or viruses? They could end up passing it right into your company network the next time they log in.
If staff are using their own devices have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy and ensure everyone is aware of this. This would cover what is deemed as acceptable use when connecting to a company network, the support available from IT departments, security measures that must be taken and employee liabilities in the event of data loss/misuse.
Integration can be a challenge
Your business is likely to be working with a large amount of data on a variety of applications and software and your team will need access to this on all devices they are working from. But the more data and apps you use, the harder it is for your IT teams to get these communicating with each other.
The solution? Combine the technologies you use every day into a single platform that operates seamlessly together. Apps like Microsoft Teams makesthe experience unified no matter which device you are using.
Several office staples, including Teams, have smartphone versions of their apps, including Office 365, Google’s G Suite, and Slack which are ideal for keeping collaboration and communication up and most importantly, easy to install.
Mobiles are an easy way into workflow systems for the user – but make sure they don’t leave the door open for hackers, too.
For employees that use their own or a company phone but log in to a shared space such as Microsoft Teams or Office 365, it’s important to mitigate the risk of ever-more sophisticated hacking methods. Multi-factor authentication could be an email or text confirmation or facial recognition, to add an extra layer of protection and protect against the threat of malware and phishing.
Something else to think about is Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) – an all-purpose platform that generally manages and enforces corporate security policies. For businesses worried about the risks of teams working from many devices, this intends to control access to company applications and data.
Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security solution is a good example of this. The cloud-based management tool is easy-to-use and essential for any business, regardless of size, that has employees that use their phones to look through email, share files or store data.
Have you thought about device downtime?
All devices have the potential to break, be lost, or even stolen and when this happens, it might feel like the end of the world. IT teams will then have to designate resource towards repairing these broken devices, which not everyone has immediately available. This naturally results in downtime, which hugely affects business productivity.
Mobile phones are undoubtedly essential to the way most people work these days so it’s important to have a back-up procedure and continuity plan in case disaster strikes. We specialise in protecting your data no matter where it is – find out more here.
Making your phone system and mobiles work together
A challenge of remote working is enabling a phone system that can be used in the office and at employees’ homes.
Mobile VoIP is an ideal solution for this. It runs over an internet connection rather than traditional fixed phone lines so you can answer your business phone wherever you are, not just when you’re in the office sitting at your desk. It’s also a lower cost option – read more about the key features here.
Incorporating VoIP into your business does not mean you will have to scrap any telephone equipment you have already invested if you don’t want to. The right VoIP provider will incorporate any existing devices into your new system so there is minimal disruption to your usual workflow.
Using phones for work is great but be careful of “always on’” culture. If you live and work in the same place it’s hard to separate the two – and that can have a negative effect on our wellbeing. Staff may be tempted to continue work long after the end of the day – it’s all too easy to answer emails or respond to Teams notifications late at night.
An essential part of work-life balance is taking time out – to rest and reset. So, encourage teams to take advantage of ‘do not disturb’ settings, take regular breaks from their devices and switch off with mindful apps or by watching Netflix.
If you’d like some advice on updating your office technology or developing a business mobile strategy, we can help. Contact us at email@example.com