It’s estimated that by 2016, connected mobile devices will account for 61% of all Internet traffic. Of that traffic, a significant amount is generated from the mobile workforce, using their own personal devices. Now, companies have an “Internet of Employees” and the days of IT groups sanctioning the devices allowed on the network is quickly fading. Instead, CIOs are facing a broad, diverse array of personal devices — 95% of global organizations now allow employee-owned smartphones and tablets in the workplace. However, that doesn’t diminish the need for CIOs and IT groups to focus on what some are calling the “coming mobile mayhem” in regards to device management, data security and network availability.
Companies now must start developing plans to support the “Internet of Employees” and create policies spanning security and network availability as more employees blend their personal activities with their work activities on their devices (many employees will use their smartphone for email, while streaming Spotify at the same time).
Companies may want to consider offering employees provisioned devices of their choice (similar to Yahoo! offering employees free Windows, iOS or Android devices). With centralized mobile management, it’s easier to build the appropriate infrastructure to support the Internet of Employees.
Over 60% of lost or stolen smartphones are believed to contain sensitive and/or confidential company information. It’s incumbent for organizations to devise some type of security policy as it applies to personal devices in the workplace.
Some studies seem to indicate that employees are more productive when allowed to use their own personal devices in the workplace. Companies have to balance the “mobile mayhem” of thousands of employee-owned devices on their networks vs. the inherent need for security as it applies to company IP and the integrity of their network operations.