It’s hard to predict when the “next big thing” will suddenly appear in the workplace brought in by employees eager to have the latest tech gadget.
With so many exciting tablets, phablets and smartphones available, people are using mobile devices in situations not imagined just a few years ago for both business and leisure, introducing new challenges as they connect to networks that may or may not be secure.
These new devices have caused quite a headache for IT departments that try to balance managing the safety of company data while appeasing employee demand for flexibility. But just as IT is starting to adjust, employees are now bringing even more of their own content and apps into the workplace, making it clear that a strategy needs to go beyond securing BYOD and instead tackles BYOx.
With millions of employees bringing their own devices and tools to work, what really needs protection is content, apps and business information.
Here are some things companies can do to implement a comprehensive strategy that’s mindful of various devices and apps, deployment and management issues, as well as hardware trends.
Establish your company’s policy
Outline clear guidelines for your employees and mobile workforce to create different ranges of acceptability. For example, you can design a policy that executives can access confidential boardroom documents only on devices meeting a predetermined security standard, only within a corporate network.
Or you can ensure mobile apps; such as those housing confidential patient data, can only operate inside the walls of a hospital.
With mobile device management in place, policies can be set that ensure when employees leave the company, devices can be wiped of corporate data such as email, contacts and business apps.
Contain your content and then share, share, share
All businesses produce vast amounts of content – whether it be in the form of documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, videos of other, it is important to ensure access to all content from a mobile device is secure.
Mobile content management solutions can help you secure the content stored both in the cloud and on the device. And mobile app security solutions can help meet even the strictest security requirements such as the FIPS 140-2 standard or other regulatory requirements.
Get support from the CIO and security teams as needed
At SAP, we truly believe in the importance of increasing employee engagement and productivity to promote the benefits of enterprise mobility. To evangelize our own mobile apps, and ensure our employees are highly productive, we have deployed more than 25,000 iPads and Android tablets. We launched 5,000 first edition iPads as soon as they became available and we haven’t looked back.
As BYOx continues to catch on, as it has in 20 countries for our employees, it’s been imperative to have buy-in from our CIO and security teams early to ensure rapid adoption.
Today’s mobile devices are just the first wave of technology that employees will bring to the workplace.
This will become even clearer as we move into 2014. BYOx will bring with it even more challenges for IT, but with a comprehensive mobile security strategy, companies can safeguard integral data while also opening the door for the flexibility that makes the workplace a more product environment for everyone.