It may seem crazy that people line up for hours – even days – to be among the first to buy the latest, hottest smartphone. But they do: witness the huge lines outside Apple stores before last Friday’s launch of the new iPhone 5c and 5s.
But these are not just the fanatics, the crazy Apple fanboys. They can’t all be – because Apple is expected to have sold a record of between 6 – 8 million iPhones over the weekend. No, these passionate smartphone buyers are now fairly representative consumers…many of them, in fact, are your employees.
According to a June 5, 2013 Pew Internet study on smartphone ownership, almost 90% of Americans age 18 – 49 earning at least $75,000 are smartphone owners. The percentages dip a bit for older adults and the less affluent, but not that much. Chances are, you’re employees are represented in similar or higher numbers.
And for many, their smartphone isn’t just nice to have – it’s a must-have-and-won’t-give-up. Indeed, Google’s Our Mobile Planet study found that 1 in 3 would rather give up television than be deprived of their smartphone (and you know what passionate TV watchers Americans are).
So what’s the impact to businesses now that their employees are among these passionate smartphone buyers and smartphone users?
Likely you already know and have been wrestling with these issues: BYOD and MDM. And if you’re lucky enough to have escaped them so far, don’t expect it to stay that way.
BYOD stands for bring your own device, meaning employees are using their own devices, like iPhone and Android smartphones, iPads and other tablets, Chromebooks and other devices for work tasks, both in the office and out in the field.
Long forbidden, then rare, now fairly common, BYOD is a workplace phenomenon that is growing so rapidly and with such momentum that it’s inevitable. As reported on TechPageOne.com, a VMware survey found that:
- 90% of enterprises and 72% of midmarket companies were experiencing moderate to significant growth in BYOD
- 75% of enterprises and 62% of midmarket companies reported end-user demand as causing this IT policy shift
- 56% of enterprises and 37% of midmarket companies reported that the device most employees wanted to start using at work was their smartphone
While BYOD does have significant advantages for companies who allow it – IT cost savings, productivity increases, workplace flexibility and employee satisfaction – it can also lead to management headaches, along with serious IT security concerns and vulnerabilities if not properly implemented and managed.
So if you’re considering a move to BYOD, you should take the time to map out an MDM (mobile device management) implementation strategy that gives you:
- Management features such the ability to selectively or fully wipe corporate data, deny email access, remote lock and notifications of user non-compliance
- Streamlined application management with features such as application inventory, whitelisting and blacklisting, and an enterprise app store
EarthLink Business offers a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution that lets you grant end users (your employees) the freedom to choose the mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) and platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.) they are most comfortable with and productive using, while enabling your organization to seamlessly and securely manage multiple mobile device platforms and types alongside your servers, desktops and laptops.
Wouldn’t you like to know device details like model and version numbers?
Hardware information like firmware, memory, battery and screen type?
Installed applications? Network details like IP address and carrier? Email user identity?
And wouldn’t you like that all on a single pane of glass?
Thought so. And we provide that.
We’re not the only company offering MDM services that can help you successfully and securely implement a BYOD program. But we can offer you all of the above and more – including the ability to integrate with EarthLink Hosted Exchange or EarthLink 365+. And through our recent corporate acquisition of CenterBeam, we have a history of MDM success that’s second to none.
You’re either already trying to deal with the challenges of BYOD or you soon will be. And when you do, remember, we’re here to help.