Remote Working and Collaboration

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Smart devices strategy

As your business needs change, there will come a need for specific technologies to meet specific requirements. For example, do you feel staff really need bulky laptops where all-in-one devices can meet their needs? Could your staff's work / life balance be improved by using remote working, IT and telephony solutions? Whether this involves the use of cloud computing technologies, remote working technology and processes or scoping and selection of smart devices like the iPad, we can help in every part of the process from conception to completion. Our reviews are not just technology, we consider 360 degrees: people; process; technology.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy

This is an increasingly common problem where users get fed up of carrying two or even multiple devices and demand to use their own smart device for work in the full knowledge that is relatively simple to get connected to corporate systems if there is a will.

Surprisingly we find that there is interest in this topic from senior management as well, mainly because these devices are very visible, and are the zeitgeist of our time - and that business leaders smell the opportunity to reduce costs as well as (hopefully) giving staff what they want.

However security is of great concern in this area as a smart device is easy to leave behind in the proverbial back of a black cab or even worse in a social situation like a bar at the weekend.

Our view is that the business must take a multi-pronged approach to dealing with this matter:

  1. There must be an assessment of the data being held on the device and an audit of the device itself. We suggest this as you have to understand the extent and range of the security vulnerabilities you are exposed to both in terms of the device and what type and kind of data of value may be being held. There are likely to be things of value within contacts, email and calendars - but you may have a wider exposure to mobile versions of company-wide CRM data, confidential plans, documents designs, videos and any number of things that might not normally be immediately considered.
  2. The company’s management must put together a Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy (as part of an overall security policy). This will incorporate, for example, the level of support you will give for someone’s device and the data. You will need to consider who owns what and what right the company has on the data held on the device and who has permissions to remotely wipe the device. The policy must be backed up by sensible user education and examples of what can go wrong (for example exposure of client contacts over which the company has a duty of care or may have data protection responsibilities.) This will include basic things but yet important matters like ensuring the device has a pass code!
  3. There has to be technology in place to protect the device. In our work we have used mobile device and management software controls. In the past we might have merely relied on one company's own system for example the Blackberry offered remote wipe and encryption as part of it service. But in the BYOD environment we use tools like like Airwatch which allows a myriad of different devices to be connected but allows them to be secured, monitored, encrypted and remotely wiped.
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