So you are wondering why you need to have a mobile device “policy” inside your (albeit small to medium sized) business operation. This is a simple question with a simple answer — everything has “gone mobile”.

Let’s put it another way and justify things a little. Software applications, generally speaking, have been migrating to mobile (smartphone, tablet or ‘other’) versions of themselves with extremely predictable levels of regularity.

 

Everything but the mouse

Such is the sophistication of mobile “devices” now, that they mirror their desktop equivalents in almost every sense, bar the use of a mouse and full-sized keyboard in some cases.

So what does this mean? Put simply, it means that employees’ mobile devices are as much a part of the corporate IT network (from two employees and upward) as the server, routers and central database that you keep your client records on. This itself means that the applications, the files, the connectivity preferences and the privacy settings of employees’ devices has to form a core module in any firm’s IT policy.

An IT policy itself of course encompasses base guidelines for connectivity that govern the data input and output points that a particular company decides to allow. It also encompasses Internet security protection provisioning, Intellectual Property guidelines and nitty gritty details such as “appropriate use of company equipment” etc. In short, it lays down the law for what employees (at every level) can and can’t do with their computers — AND their mobile devices too.

 

Policy enforcement doesn’t hurt, it feels good

A corporate IT policy (with its mobile chapter or section) will differ for every business in every industry vertical. Policy enforcement will naturally lead to better management control of devices so that locking-down measures can be implemented to protect the firm’s network against the risk of infection from malware. Employees quickly realise that they can not “sync” their personal mobile devices with corporate machines and a simple effective separation layer is built that can not be broken.

It’s not a question of being cruel to be kind, a polite but firm no quibble approach is the ONLY way to go about establishing information technology policies of any kind in today’s business world. Sloppy IT policy means sloppy technology usage means sloppy data control — and sloppy data control is a business nightmare.

Implementing a robust, strategically planned and effective mobile device policy is now a business imperative — and AVG is not the first to say it, but we are here to reinforce this message. Mobile working is a business reality and we need the controls in place to deal with this.