As today’s larger companies embrace the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) with their employees, they are allowing employees to use the same mobile devices that they use for personal use for work-related activities as well. The key benefits of BYOD are that the employee can use the device of their choice and on the carrier of their choice, and that the company doesn’t need to purchase and manage costly work phones for each of their employees.
However, enterprises are starting to realize that BYOD can often lead to significant problems for their organization, such as securing company information being accessed to prevent information leaks, employee fear of their employee infringing in their privacy, confusion ensuing around who pays for business versus personal cell phone expenses, and lack of flexibility when managing employee accounts when employees are using different mobile carriers.
There are multiple issues for enterprises to consider, however I believe the most frightening focuses on cost reduction while maintaining compliance. As you likely heard, Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and the leading Democratic candidate for U.S. President, is under investigation for sending government-related emails through an unsecure, private email account. Also, enterprises getting sued for not reimbursing their employees properly for mobile work use. While the jury is out as to whether these emails contained anything considered confidential, this action is something that is often replicated by employees within companies everyday.
Do you have records of every document your sales executives have downloaded on their personal phones? And furthermore, do you know what they’ve emailed or texted to external parties? How about the contacts who travel with the sales person when they leave the company? Of course not! And this is exactly why enterprises need to start thinking about deploying mobile solutions that can protect their organizations from the law suits and competitive breaches that can occur from these types of actions.
With compliance being a top issue, here is what I believe to be the most important issues for enterprises to consider for securing and simplifying their mobile communications:
- Compliance & Security
Enterprises should deploy mobile solutions that simplify call recording, text logging and work usage auditing even when employee has a BYO Device as opposed to corporate liable device.
- Cost Reduction (Work vs. Personal Split Billing with Cross-Carrier flexibility)
Look for solutions that provide an option for employees to seamless separate business-related and personal calls, texts and data. Not only will the split billing capabilities completely separate the invoices for business and personal use, but they also greatly simplify the process of filing expenses. Furthermore, enterprises should consider solutions that work independent of the mobile carrier your employees prefer to use.
- Roaming Cost Reduction
Company executives travel internationally and often forget to switch their phone plans to avoid exorbitant rates that they will incur when they roam outside of their plan’s coverage area. As a result, companies are often faced with expense reports that are above and beyond their budgets for mobile plan reimbursements. While asking executives to be more careful is an option, a simpler way is to ensure you deploy mobile solutions that allow for intelligent multi-country roaming, all managed through a simple application.
- Productivity increase with Clear, Uninterrupted Communications
Like me, you are probably sick and tired of being on an important call when suddenly the call drops off because you have moved to a different location. To prevent this from happening, enterprises should seek out mobile solutions that place calls over both traditional wireless voice networks (TDM) as well as VoIP (including cellular data 3G/4G/LTE and Wi-Fi) services. Installing services that cover both will greatly reduce call drop offs and ensure crystal clear communications on any carrier whether you are just walking down the block or traveling around the globe.
- Tight integration with the major EMM solutions
Finally, look for vendors who offer the above capabilities and have strong partnerships and allow for deployment through leading EMM vendors, such as AirWatch®, MobileIron® and Samsung KNOX™.