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Three easy ways to manage company mobility

The right policies, practices and tools will help you manage mobile employees and protect sensitive data.

Being able to work anytime, anywhere is no longer just for road warriors. Today’s employees—whether they work down the hall or around the globe—rely on staying connected to get the job done.

According to eMarketer, 84 percent of Millennials and 60 percent of baby boomers say mobile devices are essential to their work.

Mobile connectivity gives employees the flexibility to work from any location. But mobility creates management issues for IT teams beyond simply onboarding new devices; it also poses serious security and cost challenges, to tracking usage and protecting data if employees connect via unsafe public Wi-Fi hotspots, use software and apps not provided or approved by IT, or when devices are lost or stolen. In fact, a Bitglass report reveals lost or stolen devices account for 25.3 percent of all data breaches.

Gaining control of your company’s mobility

Enterprise mobility management (EMM) simplifies managing hundreds—or thousands—of mobile staff. It automates IT processes, such as the time-consuming tasks of provisioning and de-provisioning software, applications and smartphones. EMM allows you to spend less time on administration and more time on innovation.

Here are three best practices to help you gain control over your company’s mobile workforce:

1. Control access

Applications on your mobile devices should have the same level of security as applications that run on your desktops. With mobile application management, you can give employees the tools they need to be productive, while ensuring only authorized users can log into your business systems.

For an added layer of security, use mobile identity management to assign each user a specific level of authentication. This makes it easier for you to adhere to your security policies and protect company data.

2. Give yourself an exit strategy

When someone leaves your company, you don’t want them to take your sensitive data with them.

According to the Insider Threat Intelligence Report, 56 percent of assessed companies potentially had data stolen by new or exiting employees.

And these threats don’t always come from disgruntled staff. About half of this data loss is accidental. For example, an employee might download apps and software not approved by IT, or lose their phone or fail to password-protect it.

EMM allows your IT team to instantly and remotely restrict login or remove permissions, or wipe an employee’s actual physical device—so you can reduce your risk if devices are compromised in any way.

3. Unify your monitoring

The more monitoring tools you use, the harder it is to manage your company’s mobility.

Unifying your systems reduces your costs and streamlines IT administration—while ensuring employees can work from any location and any device. And if an employee loses a device, unified monitoring can help you get them up and running faster.

According to Information Age, organizations that embrace unified monitoring through mobile management can achieve 25 percent faster repair times and 20 percent less downtime.

Next steps

If you don’t have a mobility strategy, now is the time to create one. Otherwise, employees will use unsecured applications, software and devices—putting your data at risk.

The first step in EMM is to assess how staff use the tools your company provides so that they can work completely on the go. Then, you can create policies around how employees access company data, whether or not they use personal devices and how IT will manage everything.

How can you support employees’ mobile work habits while also protecting your data? What opportunities do you have to streamline your organization’s mobile device management?