Take a look at your IT policy. Take a long look. Is it still relevant? If your policy was written in the era of desktop devices but your users work on mobiles and tablets, then there’s a chance – a very strong chance – that it’s painfully out of date. It might even be hobbling your company’s growth and your staff’s productivity.
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement and the consumerization of IT have pushed work out of the confines of the office, creating an agile workforce that can access information from anywhere (connectivity permitting), anytime, with any device. Indeed, it’s not so much about the ‘device’ in BYOD, nor about the ‘your own’ – it’s more about the whole mobility movement distilling down to ensure that the information users need to get the job done is treated appropriately and with respect. If your IT policy is still geared towards the antiquated traditional desktop approach, then rip it up. It’s time to start again.
The IT Policy Checklist
That’s why we’ve produced the IT Policy Checklist to help if you’re starting again and creating a policy that embraces BYOD and builds towards becoming a mobile enterprise. Click the image below to see the checklist and start working through it:
Trapped in Two Worlds
Many companies have found themselves trapped in two worlds. When the BYOD movement descended on them they had very little option but to allow their users to adopt this way of working. But, simultaneously, they stuck with IT policies that were no longer relevant. Forrester’s recent Mobile Workforce Adoption Trends research found that 29% of the workers surveyed used three or more mobile devices. In 2011 the number was 23%.
This conflict can have serious consequences on many levels. First of all there’s the issue of security. If you’re allowing users to work on their own devices, then you need to make sure the company’s data is secure. You also need to make sure the users know that if their device is compromised, they may well lose all their personal data.
These companies also need to make sure their users are working with approved apps. Mobile working is excellent for enabling people to engage with clients more easily, but there needs to be control over which data is and isn’t shared with them. If apps aren’t approved by a smart IT policy, then data leakage might occur to the detriment of the company.
And if these companies aren’t introducing IT policies that cover BYOD (or, from a more holistic viewpoint, any device), then there’s every chance that they aren’t offering their staff training or good guidance on good BYOD usage. Investing in training (including setting up community based support systems) creates that first level of governance, where the staff are given the knowledge they need to protect their devices and the company’s data.
Evolving into Mobile Enterprises
What’s more is, these companies – by clinging to policies relating to outdated technology – are inhibiting themselves from transforming into mobile enterprises. BYOD is just the gateway – in the long-term, the device doesn’t matter. It’s the ability to provide users with the information and data they need – on whatever platform they want to use – that will truly allow companies to grow and prosper as technology develops. But if you’re tied to an IT policy that caters only to desktop users, then you’ll lack the ability to evolve into an agile enterprise. If you want more advice on how to turn your company into a mobile enterprise, head over to HP’s Mobile Enterprise of The Future micro site.
So if you’re ready to move on, tear up that old IT policy, download the checklist and start ticking off those points as you head towards a future of mobility.