When it comes to mobile device support in organizations, there is usually two strong views on the topic. From a security perspective, dealing with mobile devices on the network is a pain because it creates lots of security holes that are tricky to fix because locating the source device is not always the easiest. On the other hand, many organizations realize that mobile devices are part of the workplace culture and if supported properly, with the right policies in place, can help employees be more productive. For SMBs in particular, there are lots of great advantages for having a mobile-supported environment.
Let’s start with security. A recent study in the US found that while a very small percentage of SMBs have a formal policy in place to govern mobile use (which is surprising since these companies must have lots of corporate and personal devices being used), 25% of them are anticipating to have one in place in the next year. Unfortunately when you do the math, around 60% of these organizations have no plan to address the issue. This is fine if we’re looking at super small firms, but unfortunately a lot of these organizations are still pretty sizeable.
The second benefit for SMBs is in internal applications. Things like conferencing, expense management, analytics or social media marketing can provide great benefits for organizations. It’s much easier to push out new information and marketing content to employees through applications than to rely on them to find the information on your company intranet. Internal applications can help increase productivity and collaboration if implemented properly.
Lastly, depending on the organization, mobile devices can help extend business functionality. We’re seeing this especially in retail with the ability to accept mobile payments. This type of application can be built to integrate with banking, accounting and other customer related applications, and if you are already investing in a mobile solution, adding such types of functionality can yield better ROI than doing it in stages.
It’s true. BYOD and mobile strategy is a newer type of business model that still is in early adoption stages for most organizations. But SMBs have the unique advantage of being able to adopt new business models faster than many larger organizations which can end up as a huge competitive advantage.