You’ve probably heard this many times over: Mobile devices are becoming increasingly popular within the workplace. Now, whether you’re sick of hearing it or not, there’s a reason why it’s being mentioned so often. If you don’t have a solid strategy in place to manage the use of these devices within your firm or organization, then you can expect to fumble, literally and figuratively, with all the smartphones, tablets and computers used to facilitate your business’ activities.
First of all, you have to decide if there is a need for a mobile device strategy. If you run a small privately-owned grocery store that has five or six employees or if you’re a freelance writer equipped with only a cellphone and laptop, chances are, it’s not necessary. If you have properly identified a need for it however, then it’s time to go full-force! Below are three important factors to consider before you do:
Type of Business and Business Activities
Formulating a mobile device strategy can apply to many types of businesses. Your company may be big or small, you might focus on products, services or both, you could be operating in the healthcare industry or focusing on higher education, or you might have most of your employees working from home.
Consider a huge healthcare provider that has dozens of hospitals and office buildings spread around the country. They employ thousands of workers, many of whom require mobile devices to complete their tasks efficiently and effectively. Contrast that with two business partners who own three fast food franchises located in one city. Managing locations of a popular chain is no walk in the park, but the way they would implement their mobile device strategy would be remarkably different from the first scenario.
Usage of Mobile Devices among Employees
How often your employees use mobile devices to do their work is a very important factor in deciding how to move forward with your strategy. If using smartphones or shipping scanners, for example, is 80% of the business, then the complexity of your strategy will reflect that usage. Things like security and which mobile applications to install are things that must be kept in mind. And of course, the more something gets used, whether it’s hardware of software, the chances of it breaking down or failing are higher. So hopefully you have a competent IT team for support!
Robustness of Security
How secure do you need your devices and the related software to be? No doubt every company wants their mobile devices and company data to be 200% secure (if we can defy the laws of mathematics), but given the limited financial and human resources an entity may have, the level of security with regards to your mobile device strategy has to be considered. If your company deals with a lot of sensitive data such as customer payment information, security will be high on the priority list.
With these things in mind, you’re now well-equipped enough with some solid information on how to approach your strategy in a thoughtful manner.