Meeting the challenges of mobile computing is top-of-mind for most IT executives and business owners.  According to research firm Gartner, table computing shipments surpassed desktop computer shipments for the first time during 2013.  According to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), mobile workforce dynamics are driven by traveling employees and those employees bringing work home. These competitive market forces mandate (require) companies to develop a mobile computing strategy for their businesses.

Why Have a Mobile Computing Strategy?

Cloud computing, broadband Internet, and consumerization of IT are fueling the demand for mobile computing.  Supporting employees in the field and traveling employees and connecting with customers are top areas of focus for IT today.  Support for employees working from home and mobile commerce also drive the demand for mobile computing.  The outbreak of mobile computing raises a number of concerns, including device theft and loss, mobile-specific virus/malware, and personal use of business devices. Additionally, mobile users may put additional strain on your corporate network and WiFi connections.

Responsible Mobile Computing

There are a number of factors to help reduce the risks of mobile computing.  Requiring a passcode to unlock a device may be the first line of defense but may not be enough to fully protect your corporate applications and data.  Using encryption for data on the device and in transit can keep your information secure if your device is lost, stolen, or exploited by a mobile virus or malware.  As a last resort, having the ability to track and wipe a compromised device (e.g. having a kill switch) is another option to protect your critical information from falling into the wrong hands. Also, be sure to test your corporate network bandwidth and security to ensure that they meet the demands of your mobile users

Focus on the Mobile User

Awareness of your employees is a key consideration of your mobile device plan.  It is important that your mobile employees have a clear understanding of the threats and risks of mobile computing.  Keeping mobile devices up to date with O/S security updates, anti-virus, and anti-malware protection is key.  Training your employees to identify phishing schemes and having a protocol for reporting lost or stolen devices and data breach improve your organization’s readiness for adopting a mobile-computing strategy.

The adoption of mobile computing is expected to continue at a rapid pace over the next few years.  This growth will meet the demands of the mobile workforce and the desire for businesses to improve customer satisfaction through connected applications.  Having a proactive plan for securing mobile devices and their access to corporate applications and data is critical.  It is equally important to educate your mobile employees on the threats, risks, and responsibilities of a mobile computing user. Contact your Mobile Computing Expert to help deploy mobile computing within your organization.

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