Has the Mobile Phone Gone the way of the Company Car?
Years ago when you were a mobile sales rep, you started a new job and on your first day, you were given a badge and a company car. The company owned the car, but you drove it for work purposes. The rules of engagement were pretty clear in terms of who paid for what. If you blew a tire, cracked the windshield or simply filled up the tank, the company usually paid for it.
Over the years many companies changed their policies and require employees to use their personal vehicles for work purposes. The game changed significantly – you were given a monthly stipend to cover the cost of repairs, gas, and more. If you cracked the windshield you were the one on the hook for the repairs.
In order to avoid insurance and legal nightmares, both of these options required companies to clearly define policies around use of the vehicle.
Switch gears now to the world of enterprise mobility. Five years ago, you started a new job and on your first day, you got a badge and a company-issued mobile phone. There were clear rules around what the phone was for, who paid the bill and what acceptable use was.
Now, just as the company car concept has slowly disappeared, so too has the corporate owned smartphone. Recent statistics indicate that as high as 60% of enterprises enable their users to bring in personally owned devices to access corporate data. And this number seems to be constantly growing.
Just like business use of a personal car, the concept of a mobile computing policy sounds natural. However, many companies have no mobile computing policies in place, nor do they have them clearly defined for separate corporate owned or personally-owned models.
A ‘getting started’ approach for some IT organizations has been to treat both ownership models the same by simply locking devices down. While this may have worked to some degree, it doesn’t truly address the unique requirements of different user types. People want to bring their personal devices to work. They want to use them, and they want access to corporate data.
What most companies need is a mobile device management strategy and a solution like SAP Afaria to help separate corporate data from personal data on both personally owned and corporate owned devices.