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Are the days of Corporate Mobile Device Purchases Numbered?

Are the days of Corporate Mobile Device Purchases Numbered?

Are the days of Corporate Mobile Device Purchases Numbered?

January 24, 2011 ClickSoftware 0 Comments

Last week I read an article outlining how Hampshire County Council is conducting a trial of staff using their own smartphones to access corporate systems.

They are certainly not the first to move in the direction of organizations supporting personal mobile devices and, Jos Creese, the council’s CIO, predicts that organizations in both the public and private sector will soon expect employees to use their own computers and phones for work. Without doubt there is increasing pressure on CIO’s to support the wide array of smartphones (iPhones, Droids, iPads, etc.) on their networks. Can they afford to say “We don’t support that device”? Can they afford to adopt a stance of adopting “one device at a time”?

The good news about supporting personal mobile devices on your corporate network is that it is very likely to save your company money. Allowing your employees access to your corporate data just saved you from having to buy them a work-specific device. Some companies are giving their employees a fixed monthly allowance for voice and data use. On top of the cost savings, allowing personal and corporate data on one device will probably make your employees more efficient. In fact, that’s probably why your employees are asking for access – to make them more efficient.

So what does this all mean for field service management, enterprise mobility and workforce management?

  1. It means you need to have a mobile solution leveraging the latest HTML5 technologies so that it can support all the different mobile platforms such as BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Android, and more.
  2. Mobile data access is critical to the success of your organization. Now you have a future-proof, cost-effective way of delivering it.
  3. Why stop at one mobile device per employee? With the new architecture, employees may choose to use any device – laptop, tablet, smartphone etc. For example, they may use a laptop to plan a lengthy job, and later use a smartphone to report progress and collaborate.

Don’t over-simplify: while the new technology makes it easier and faster to deliver mobile data access, it does not mean that you don’t need to think about what mobile workers need. Their environment is very different from the office environment, so the workflows need to be thought out carefully: what information do they need to receive? What information do they need to provide? How can you help them streamline their work and dedicate their attention to their tasks, not to operating the mobile device?

What stance is your organization taking towards supporting personal devices on the corporate network?

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