Deploying any device into a company’s wireless environment requires careful thought and consideration. Two major components to address are security and device support.
The tablet trend is still evolving but it’s clear that tablets require more attention than your basic wireless devices in business. Recent stats from my company, MOBI wireless management, reveal that while less than 5% of managed devices are tablets, 20% of help-desk calls are tablet-related. Deploying tablets can and will require more time and management than your average device.
Tablet security & data control
Security issues are at the forefront of the tablet movement. Why? These devices are also used in personal ways–downloading and listening to music, storing pictures, web surfing, etc.
This, along with the fact that they are often connected through public WiFi, puts them at a higher risk for security breaches and releasing sensitive data in a public place.
Currently, tablets aren’t protected in the same ways a smartphone might be, so the most effective way to deploy a secure tablet is through an appropriate mobile device management (MDM) software program that supports the tablet’s specific operating system (such as the iOS platform from Apple).
MDM software allows companies to push email and other business-critical information to the tablet securely. These applications compartmentalize corporate data on the device, allowing it to be encrypted, password-protected and restricted to certain guidelines. If the tablet is lost or stolen, companies can wipe sensitive data before it gets into the wrong hands.
Ongoing IT support
Implementing wireless solutions and MDM software that keep a company’s tablets secure requires a certain level of support from IT staff. Whether it is internal resources or an outsourced IT team, trained professionals must be available for set-up, troubleshooting and ongoing management of the device.
Because the tablets are vulnerable, it’s important to have IT support at all times in the event that the tablet is lost or stolen. The use of any MDM applications (even free options like ActiveSync) for security and inventory management will also require regular maintenance and hours from the IT team. This is extra bandwidth most companies don’t account for when rolling out new devices to the field.
MDM companies are an effective way to deploy new devices and manage their wireless program on behalf of the internal IT staff. The outside support allows an IT staff to focus on other IT issues and tasks without having to devote extra hours to these challenging devices.
Deploying secure tablets isn’t easy, but when done correctly, companies experience better-connected employees and increased productivity.