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Managing the Risks from Mobile

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Managing the Risks from Mobile

· Mobile Zone ·
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Recently I have talked a lot about mobile, ranging from selling the idea to senior people, creating a great mobile experience, how to develop a strategy to what good governance principles are.
Some organizations are starting to realize the potential of mobile working, which can help employee’s productivity, engagement, and their work/life balance.  But the reality is that a lot of organizations aren’t there yet.  Most will provide a poor user experience and be reluctant to invest time and money developing a rich mobile user experience.
Security and risk are concerns that often create the barriers to further mobile integration.  How can you overcome these barriers?
In this post I will cover how your organization can provide useful functionality for your employees while still mitigating or addressing the following risks:

Fear of the Unknown

There may still be a perception by some people in the legal, security and regulatory parts of your organization that, because they don’t fully understand how increased use of mobile devices to access tools and information or share knowledge and problems can help, it must be "bad".
The best way to handle this approach is to research what other organizations have done with mobile.  You should focus on:
  1. Successful examples of adoption
  2. Competitors with your organization who are ahead of you
  3. Lessons to learn where mobile hasn’t worked
  4. Prepare how and what you are going to share
  5. Identify the right stakeholders


People who do not fully understand why you authenticate can be over-cautious and create many layers of authentication.  The "just in case" approach will just strangle the use by mobile devices of the apps and content you need to use to help you with your work.

Why would you use your mobile to access something online that takes just a few seconds if you have to enter usernames and passwords several times before you can get to it, which takes several minutes?  It’s just not going to happen.  You need to explain:

  1. What people are being asked to authenticate for, e.g. to use apps
  2. Why authentication is needed for, e.g. to protect intellectual property
  3. How authentication can have maximum effect for minimal impact with "smart" authenticating used only when needed and not duplicating at every level, different levels of authentication based on type of content or app to be used
  4. Building security into your mobile device so your authentication feeds through to the content and apps to be accessed if possible
  5. BYOD – are personal mobile devices the best way or should you stick with company mobile devices?

Business Continuity

Your organization needs to be resilient and always able to survive whatever potential crisis it may face.  This means supporting your employees wherever and whenever they are using their mobile devices.  By having people in many locations, your business is more resilient to these unforeseen events when they happen.  Mobile can help by:

  1. Removing the "single point of failure" problem with office-based people all in one location
  2. Accelerating the recovery time from a "crisis" to provide service to customers, especially face-to-face visits are needed, e.g. employees with mobiles in different locations
  3. Showing better value made in infrastructure and data center investment with availability 24/7 for when mobile workers need to use it
Addressing these concerns with your key stakeholders will help you remove the barriers preventing you from giving your mobile users the functionality and good experience needed to help with their work.


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