Cloud technology has empowered users to have access to applications and information anywhere they go in a more secure and reliable way than ever before. This means a more productive and flexible workforce for companies as well as happier employees! While this shift creates amazing opportunities for modern businesses, it also creates an entirely new set of problems for IT teams and leadership to contend with. The more mobile devices and users that a company has, the more important it is for them to have a detailed approach to mobility management to make sure they keep cost under control, information secure and ensure that company devices aren’t being misused.
From deployment, to management, to return policies; every stage of a mobile devices life can be a potential landmine if not handled correctly. Starting from the beginning, it is important to have a process for onboarding new employees that includes the deployment of their mobile device. Trusting users to install necessary applications or apply traffic guidelines to their own device is a recipe for disaster. Selecting a tool that allows IT teams to deploy new devices pre-configured with necessary applications, security features and content rules will not only create a repeatable process that makes everybody’s life simpler but can also save a lot of headaches and money down the road.
One of the challenges that arises when it comes to a mobile workforce is the common use of cellular devices for data transfer and phone calls. Since these are often metered plans, overuse or misuse of a company hot-spot or cell phone can result in large overage bills that nobody wants to pay. One core component of a mobility management plan is a detailed use policy that lays out what applications and traffic can be passed across a company device as well as a meaningful way to enforce this policy. Many modern mobility management tools allow IT teams to create white-list or black-list in regard to what the device, or anything tethered to it, can have access to. Many of these tools also have pre-built databases of commonly filtered content types such as gambling, real-time entertainment and adult content so that IT teams don’t have to create these lists on their own.
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As well as traffic and content management, overall device management and updates can be centralized to a single dashboard to make sure firmware updates are installed in a timely manner, allow IT teams to make changes to device policies remotely and even wipe sensitive data from a device remotely in the event of employee termination. By giving the IT team a single pane of glass to view all devices being managed and make changes by device, or by group; even if mistakes in deployment are made they can be correctly corrected remotely.
It is also important to think about support and billing systems when you are creating a mobile strategy. How many carriers will be involved? How many different bills will accounting have to review and pay? How many different support systems will be in place for different underlying carriers? How many different contracts and terms will need to be monitored and negotiated? In today’s mobile landscape it is possible to have the best of all worlds with aggregators and technology such as SmartSIM (if you haven’t heard of this check out our articles about it, you will see it is a game-changer). Tying yourself to a single carrier is another common mistake as nobody has ubiquitous coverage, choosing a provider that gives you the ability to leverage several carriers increases your user’s chances of having coverage when they most need it.
Mobile workforces are here to stay and their dependence on hot-spots, cell phones and other mobile technology will only increase in the years to come. Consolidating carriers and billing, creating detailed processes for users and IT teams and having a centralized dashboard for management and visibility can allow companies to leverage the amazing flexibility that these devices create while minimizing the liability that can come along with them. A small investment of time and money on the front-end can save money, create a better end-user experience and save your IT team a lot of headaches now and in the future!