Digitization of daily business activities is a trend that particularly includes the advantages of mobile devices. Mobile strategies promise companies tangible benefits including increased employee productivity, new sales channels and cost reduction. Mobile devices support sales teams with presentation and selling and ensure that employees remain available while on business trips and can access data on the network. But in addition to the devices provided by the company, BYOD (“bring your own device”) is a growing trend which sees companies allowing their employees to use their own smartphones and tablets.

According to a Cisco study, 89 per cent of the companies in the world allow their employees to use private devices for work purposes. But this also poses risks. Security concerns ranging from data protection to control of network traffic represent a hurdle for 76.4 percent of the companies. In addition to this, it must be possible to implement changes at any time if devices, software or processes evolve. This is a major challenge given the complexity of IT infrastructures that have grown over the course of many years. New enterprise applications can often only be integrated into IT processes with great effort, not to mention subsequent changes, which are often made on an ongoing basis.

It hardly surprising that, given the technological and organisational challenges, only 56 percent of large and medium-sized enterprises have developed a comprehensive strategy for their mobile business. According to the trend study “Mobile Enterprise Review” by Lünendonk, 80 percent of these companies implement mobile device management (MDM) to centrally manage their own devices as well as the employees’ devices.

Often the legal basis is also missing for BYOD. Companies do well to develop clear rules for dealing with private and business data. At the same time, rules should not get in the way of easy integration and the user-friendliness of important applications and online services. Otherwise the mobile strategy will ultimately fail because it makes things too difficult for the users.

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