This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In the age of Shadow IT, we don’t know what’s happening on employee devices—whether they’re personally owned or company issued. Are your employees brainstorming via the latest enterprise-approved social collaboration app, or scrolling through Instagram adding photos of internal office spaces (and possibly internal office proprietary documentation)? Is your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy an open door, inviting hackers to spy on sensitive company information or allowing harmful viruses to spread from device to device?
Well, today, you can find all of that out—and more—without stepping on your employees privacy rights. There are ethical ways to monitor and manage your employee’s mobile devices, using innovative mobile device management (MDM) techniques.
Why MDM Wasn’t Always Feasible
MDM issues are often related to compliance. How do we get a certain technology on every device, especially when we’re supposed to be encouraging BYOD? In the days of using only company-issued devices, compliance was a simpler task. Every employee used the same device, every device was equipped with the same programs, and every member of the workforce received updates, downloads, or other application changes from the same place (usually your IT department) at the same time. Nowadays, employees often use their own smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices—all within the same office.
The good thing is that improvements to multi-device capabilities have led to apps and systems being compatible with multiple devices, paving the way toward seamless work across devices, and solving any compliance issues. Now employees have no excuse as to why they can’t join the latest corporate platform.
Management is the other issue that’s prevented successful MDM. It’s easy for employees to hear “mobile device management” and jump to the conclusion that their privacy is being forfeited. And many company heads feared that’s exactly what they were doing—hence halting MDM for fear of lawsuits or other such actions. There’s a lot of uncertainty as to exactly what companies can and can’t do when it comes to mobile device management.
But what is known is that companies have fiduciary and legal responsibilities to protect their customers, employees, and data. This duty gives them a right to manage and monitor the devices on which content is moved, ensuring the security of everyone involved. If we take this right away, big security problems can occur for enterprises small and large. So how do we manage mobile devices without making our employees feel like we are Big Brothering them?
Find the Key to Successful MDM
There are a plethora of affordable and ethical apps and systems that enhance mobile security, provide mobile management, and support company efforts to work with—not against— employees to carefully monitor usage. Sites like AirWatch and MobileIron are leaders in MDM in today’s workplaces, and they offer companies services like comprehensive mobile policies and content management products.
Furthermore, anti-malware software provides an important level of device security and is constantly improving and evolving alongside current cybersecurity threats. Any employee who will be using the Internet from his or her own device must install current anti-malware software to protect company information from hackers. Mobile communications at work should also be encrypted to block any snooping outside listeners.
Cloud platforms can also hold the answer for many CIOs. Public clouds or private clouds involving only company members can be used to create a collective space for employees to work, store information, and share files securely.
Unlock the Power of MDM
MDM is vital if you have any hope of fixing the issues of BYOD security and employee activity management. By practicing positive mobile device management, you can ensure your employees spend their time wisely and productively on the clock. CIOs everywhere are relying on new MDM techniques to generate a safe, accountable, and more fruitful workplace environment. The only secret is to make sure MDM is done as a team, involving employees and employers, and not some snippet of code forced onto an employee’s device so enterprises can spy on them. You want to incite workplace cooperation, not a revolution.
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Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.