Smartphones in the Enterprise

Commentary

A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy is needed; mobile device management software is evolving rapidly in response.

By Brian Orrell & Mike Rosenbaum

As of February 2012, nearly half—46 percent—of American adults own a smartphone, an increase of 11 percentage points over the prior nine months, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Smartphone owners now outnumber users of more basic phones, and this exponential growth is expected to continue, along with the dramatic transformation of how consumers communicate and send and receive information.

It is only natural that consumer experiences with smartphones and mobile applications have formed new expectations for workplace communications as well. No longer content with corporate-approved, email-only devices and a laptop with a virtual private network, workers are demanding to use their personal mobile products, which play a significant role in their personal lives, to conduct their jobs.

Workers are also requesting to install corporate applications on personal devices, and they expect those corporate applications to offer the same consumer-friendly features and functionalities as their consumer counterparts.

CIOs must address the onslaught of consumer devices in their enterprises and the growing expectation for user-friendly business applications that are as responsive and user-friendly as those provided by the growing consumer app marketplace.

From adopting consumer devices within the enterprise to outfitting workers with the most advanced, enterprise-configured technologies available, CIOs need to define and execute a mobility strategy that balances the company’s privacy and security requirements with users’ abilities to enjoy the mobile experiences they’ve come to expect in their personal lives—from Angry Birds to the corporate customer relationship management solution.

Considerations for a Mobility Strategy
Traditionally, CIOs and IT departments fought the good fight, working to prevent consumer devices from accessing the corporate network and applications, and deploying only enterprise-tested and approved equipment to users. Enterprise-grade devices are currently filling the gap between consumer and enterprise needs, but there are scenarios in which consumer devices must still be supported within the enterprise. When the newest college hires up to the CEO use their personal devices in some capacity—regardless of the IT policy—it’s nearly futile to fight the tsunami of demand for consumer device support.

Categories: Thought Leadership

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