3 Best Practices for Mobile Device Management
Due to the ever-increasing mobility of today’s fleet or construction related workforce, fleet management teams need to consider the proper policies to ensure acceptable use of mobile devices that are used by their employees.
Mobility solutions add real value to any type of fleet management operation. Fleet managers, dispatchers, salespeople and operators are responsible for the success of any project. Many of them are running multiple projects at the same time and some of them spend most of their day on job sites, in the office or traveling. With the help of a mobile device and fleet management software apps, they can actively manage all processes, employees and information involved in their projects from anywhere.
Today, more and more fleet owners are embracing technology and are providing their employees with mobile devices to allow them to perform their job functions from anywhere. With this advantage comes the task of ensuring that these devices are indeed being used to increase productivity and efficiency, and are not a source of distraction or misappropriated company resources. Due to the ever-increasing mobility of today’s workforce business owners and management need to consider the proper policies to ensure acceptable use of mobile devices that are used in the field.
1. Establish a detailed Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
Establishing an AUP is the first step to implementing mobile devices throughout your workforce. Most companies should have an AUP policy that pertains for their central network and hardware. When mobile devices enter into the workplace that are either company owned or employee owned the policy needs be adjusted to address mobile usage. A company that does not have a policy to address equipment like smartphones and tablets with their virtually unlimited access to data and susceptibility to security breaches are asking for trouble. Users must agree to acceptable use policies if they want access to a company network, a company device or the Internet.
Acceptable use policies need to include rules stating an agreement to not use the Internet to break the law, for spam or to break the security of other computers or users. Other common inclusions would be related to which apps are permissible to have on a device, rules regarding streaming video, gambling and data usage. Organizations should certainly personalize their acceptable use policies to include any number of parameters specific to the concerns of their company. There are plenty of resources on the internet to assist in you creating your company’s AUP such as templates, eBooks and content suggestions.
2. Establish a Bring Your Own Device Policy (BYOD)
Bring your own device policies are more and more common with the advent of the mobile workforce and shift towards using mobile devices in the field to increase efficiency of your staff. Specifying which devices are permitted and the stringent security policies for each device is necessary. Establishing who owns apps and data, which apps are allowed, as well as service and support guidelines are all important to clarify. Many of these parameters can be merged with an existing AUP policy that may already be in effect for desktop computers, notebooks, and other equipment on your network.
3. Integrate with a 3rd Party Monitoring Service
There are a host of companies that offer mobile device management by way of software or related apps that can be installed on company owned mobile devices to monitor and restrict usage and provide added security for corporate data. These providers offer monitoring capabilities that track everything from device location through GPS to wireless data usage. These services are scalable and adjustable to your company’s needs. 3rd party monitoring can also carry out tasks like wiping data from lost or stolen devices. Alternatively, having a security system that is cloud based alleviates some internal management responsibilities like software and server upgrades.
It is important to understand that comprehensive mobile device monitoring systems do require time to implement and to train IT staff to be able to properly utilize them to their maximum potential. Not taking the implementation process seriously will affect the goal of purchasing such services and reduce your ROI on your software investment.
Furthermore, there are some software programs that already monitor a company’s network which can be extended to mobile devices being used in the field. Having a single security/monitoring platform reduces infrastructure and IT costs. By understanding employee tablet and smartphone usage through installed or cloud based monitoring devices, management will be able to promote efficiency while keeping confidential company data safe and limiting tablet usage to work related tasks.
A mobile device, a stable policy
Managing and monitoring use of mobile devices in the workplace is necessary. This does not only apply when employees are using company owned devices but their own as well. Establishing policies that are detailed yet realistic, clear but flexible is important in minimizing risk and liability while promoting efficiency and mobility in today’s workforce. The proliferation of mobile devices in the workforce has many benefits, but it has to be managed. By implementing proper policies and monitoring use, businesses and owners can look forward, utilize tablets and smartphones in the field and make mobile fleet management a reality.