The world appears to be gravitating toward mobile technology for everything. BYOD is expected to be widely implemented in the coming year and some businesses are eschewing desktops altogether in favor of the convenience mobile devices offer.
However, mobile adoption can bring with it an all new set of issues. Before small business owners get caught up in the excitement of being able to access everything from anywhere, there are a few major precautions.
- Security. This is perhaps one of the most discussed aspects of mobile device use. Businesses spend countless hours and funds securing their servers, but what about the devices that connect to those servers? Just as you protect your PCs and laptops, you should also add encryption, antivirus software, and required passwords to all of the devices on your business’s network, even if those devices were purchased by employees. Also consider adding remote wipe to allow you to safeguard your data in case the device is ever stolen.
- Problem resolution. Troubleshooting mobile devices is a completely different experience from the PC and laptop experience. Before implementing business-wide mobile use, ensure your help desk solution can handle mobile support. It may mean shifting to a new service, like that offered by your mobile service provider.
- Full implementation. While everyone is eager to jump on the mobile bandwagon, the truth is, it isn’t for everyone. If some of your employees are at a desk all day, a PC will likely still be the best choice. Before making the switch to mobile, take a look at each worker and ask which device is most reasonable for that worker. Also keep in mind that a tablet may not be the best interface for everyone. It’s a different way of computing, and some people are simply more comfortable with a keyboard and mouse.
- Application compatibility. What applications do your workers need to do their jobs? Are they compatible with mobile? It might be wise to purchase one device and thoroughly test it with those applications before implementing it. If something doesn’t work properly, you may be able to either purchase a newer, more mobile-friendly version or have it tweaked by a professional.
- Lack of connectivity. If your workers are on the move, adding 4G capability to your tablets is a must. For some, it may be reasonable to chase Wi-Fi connections around town, but some hotels charge for wi-fi and that will, over time, add up to far more than you would have paid for monthly 4G access if your employee is a road warrior. Adding 24/7 connectivity can make your workers more productive and give them one less thing to worry about.
We keep hearing we’ve entered the age of mobile, but for those who spend hours each day typing and need only basic office software, a PC or laptop may always be the best choice. For some, a convertible laptop that has both tablet and traditional PC functionalities may be a great option.