With the ever-growing presence of laptops, smartphones and tablets in nearly every segment of the working population, it makes sense that the issue of whether or not to allow employees to integrate their personal devices into the company’s IT program is coming up and is fraught with concerns for everyone involved. Integration seems imminent, since, as Gartner notes, approximately 38 percent of companies plan to stop purchasing and providing devices to employees by as early as 2016, with data culled from a global survey of Chief Information Officers (CIOs). It is unclear whether companies will subsidize this personal device usage or not.
Developing a Safe and Productive IT Haven with In-House App Access
The job of CIOs and IT staff working to safeguard their company’s sensitive data has always been a concern, due to the threat of malware and viruses or the possible theft of an employee’s company laptop during travel. The IT team is also responsible for monitoring improper usage of the company’s technology, hardware and software. In a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) landscape, those safety concerns and others are compounded when employees are using their personal devices for work purposes. Issues of vulnerability and liability are real threats to a company when they ask employees to use a device on which those employees participate in social media, personal communications, and web surfing.
Rather than the potential for proverbial cat-herding duties for IT staff, trying to work with employees who use various operating systems, devices and platforms, these professionals should consider building an internal Enterprise Mobile Device Mgt software store for employees (building an app store for employees).
1. Avoiding Viruses and Other Malicious Threats
The best hackers make their viruses and malware appear completely benign to the average person. When IT does the leg work and screens the apps, they ensure apps are harmless. This keeps them from having to de-bug an otherwise healthy device or leave the employee without the use of their tablet or smartphone.
2. Finding Apps That Will Improve Business
Instead of asking employees to suss out the apps that will be most beneficial to the company’s needs, which can be challenging for employees to find while keeping company-wide consistency in mind, the IT staff has their finger on the pulse of these needs, and can provide the best apps for respective devices.
3. Keeping Executives Happy
IT staff members are tasked with trying to keep several populations happy at once: the company owner, the employee and the clients. In order to keep the BYOD program intact, IT members will be able to show executives a solid plan and set of apps their employees are using.
4. Eliminating Unnecessary Apps
The IT department can monitor which apps turn out to be useful, as others fade. If the team notes a marked decrease in usage, they may alert the staff to remove the app to free up storage space.
5. Developing Unique Apps for the Company
With the right amount of vision and knowledge, IT employees can create unique apps, tailored to the company’s and employees’ specific needs. The company will have full ownership of the app, and the knowledge it is safe for all.