Mobile devices give employees more flexibility by allowing them to access important company information while away from their desks. Working on devices outside of the office may be convenient for employees, but the equipment must be managed effectively.
"An average of 63 percent of an organization's employees are using mobile devices," explained a survey from the Ponemon Institute.
Smartphones, tablets and laptops are used to check emails and work on company projects. Accessing this information on mobile devices can be risky if your company doesn't have the right precautions in place.
If you allow your employees to work remotely or you want them to be able to check their emails while out of the office, then make sure you implement these mobile device management best practices:
1. Require Authentication
When employees access company information remotely, they should provide authentication every time they sign in. This security measure is extremely important because if the device is left unattended or is lost, then other people won't be able to view company material. To ensure devices are well-protected, passwords should contain upper and lowercase letters as well as special characters so they're not easily guessed. For more advanced security measures, biometrics can be used to regulate control by scanning fingerprints or voice recognition.
After a designated number of failed authentication attempts, the mobile devices should be set to automatically lock or wipe the data. This is a particularly crucial feature if equipment is lost or stolen.
2. Track Devices
Keeping an inventory of office mobile devices as well as personal equipment can be particularly useful when terminating or hiring employees. A list of company items will help you keep track of the devices being used, and if someone is leaving the company, pulling up the inventory list will ensure all items are returned before the employee departs.
3. Monitor Usage
Keeping track of device usage is essential for several reasons. First, it allows you to spot any deviations in device activity. If one employee seems to be using more data than the others, it might be a sign that the device is being misused. It also may indicate that something has been stolen, and you'll be able to cancel service immediately rather than catch it down the road.
Second, monitoring devices can make your company more efficient. By tracking how much data, time or money employees are using on their devices, companies can accurately reimburse workers as well as determine what kind of management services are necessary. It's also useful during meetings to pull usage reports and discuss any discrepancies that appear on the account.
4. Set Employee Parameters
Different departments may need more mobile access than others. That's why it's a good idea to choose a management service that allows you to set parameters based on employee type or position. Limiting capabilities helps protect your company because not as many people have full-access when out of the office, so if the device gets attacked or stolen, there won't be much to view.
5. Limit Apps
Not all mobile applications are conducive to productivity. It's easy to be distracted by social media and the internet alone without adding in a bunch of games or video apps. Restricting downloads on office mobile devices will limit workflow interruptions and keep employees on track. If employees want to put an application on their tablets or laptops, make sure it will keep them focused on their tasks. For instance, Evernote and calendar apps can be very beneficial for work, but Twitter and YouTube can be distracting.
Another reason it's smart to limit application downloads is because an employee may unwittingly select an app that's harmful to the company network. Restricting mobile applications will reduce the risk of damaging downloads and will help keep your employees productive.