Apple? Android? BlackBerry? That’s not the question you should be asking. Business mobility isn’t actually about devices at all— it’s about IT. Here’s what you need to know.
For businesses, your device isn’t the limiting factor for mobility—your IT is. For full on-the-go competitiveness, make sure your email, phones, and other IT services can deliver on each of the ten points below:
Simple setup—no IT assistance required
- Setting up your device to access your business email should be no more complicated than putting in an email address and password.
Device-to-desktop syncing for email, calendars and contacts
- When you delete a message on your phone, it should disappear from Outlook on your PC. Your calendar should be in sync no matter which device you view it on. And when a new employee joins your company, her contact information should appear in every other employee’s phone instantly.
Email archiving, encryption and compliance on mobile devices
- Many companies protect against legal threats and compliance risks through email archiving, encrypted email or data loss protection tools. All of these services should treat emails sent from mobile devices identically to those sent via the desktop.
Office phone access via your mobile device
- At a minimum, your phones should offer call forwarding and voicemail-toemail. But true mobility requires a “softphone” app for making and receiving calls on your device, using your office number, without wasting your personal data.
Remote wipe for when devices go missing
- You should be able to remotely erase corporate data on a lost or stolen phone. Better still, your IT people should be able to automatically require employees to have a passcode on any device that can access your email system.
World-class protection from spam and viruses
- Most people don’t install virus protection on their mobile devices. make sure your provider intercepts spam and viruses at the datacenter level, before messages are allowed to reach your device.
Secure mobile chat for on-the-go employees
- Employees should be able to instant message from their phones just as easily as when they’re on their computers.
Shared files should have integrated access control
- People love Dropbox and Box because they make mobile file access so easy. But your sharing service should ALSO be integrated with your email system. That’s the best way to be sure that when an employee leaves your company, they lose their access to your files instantly.
Single sign-on for mobile devices
- The most secure passwords are long and complicated—which means they’re a pain to type into a phone. Your provider should offer a mobile single sign-on tool for secure, password-free access to SalesForce, QuickBooks, corporate Twitter accounts, and all your other cloud services.
Mobile administration for your IT people
- Whoever runs your IT should be just as mobile as your users. They should be able to manage every user, office and device through a single, mobile friendly point of control.