Earlier in the week I posted a blog about BYOD, and I touched on how important it was to have a policy in place.  This goes for all mobile devices, not just user-owned devices.  Strategy Analytics recently did research showing that over 90% of organizations now have employees using smartphones at work.  Managing this many mobile devices can be challenging, and the best way to do so is to have a policy set in place before they overwhelm you.  Companies that setup a policy have higher returns, and have quicker responses to customer needs.

Consider addressing the following principles when creating a mobility policy (Remember that these policies need to be unique to your organization and may need to be altered):

  • Should users be allowed to use company provisioned mobile devices for personal reasons.  If so, to what degree?
  • Should an application that is pre-loaded from the carrier or manufacturer of the device be allowed or not?
  • How often (Annually/Biannual/Quarterly) will you review the mobility policy?
  • Should failure to accept updated terms and conditions of the mobility policy lead to loss of mobility privileges?
  • Storage allowance for personal files/applications
  • Will users be required to purchase a headset or will it be purchased for them? (Especially important in states with hands free driving laws)
  • Should GPS be left on always for tracking purposes
  • Is there a max device price? If so label it
  • Are users allowed to purchase their own device, or should they first get approval through IT?
  • Does the company reserve the right to track the device with GPS?
  • What will Help desk support, and what are users expected to do themselves?

The Following actions should lead to loss of mobility privileges (or perhaps just lead to disciplinary action):

  • Going over Data Usage limits consistently
  • Excessive use of 411 and other paid services
  • Unapproved replacement of Devices
  • Unapproved replacement of accessories or purchase of non-approved accessories
  • Jail-breaking phones to install applications for free
  • Installing games or other applications deemed inappropriate by IT
  • Not following Security Protocols set by IT department
  • Not following state/federal laws (example: no texting while driving)
  • Refusing to follow instructions from IT (Upgrades, removal of software, turn in phone)
  • Not reporting Lost or Stolen Devices

Make sure you set policies covering what carriers you support, what phones you support, and what accessories you will work with.  If you aren’t clear about what items you cover, it will be hard to turn a user away when they show up with a non-standard device, especially if they just paid full price for it.  Determine how you wish to reimburse your users, and make sure you stick to it.  If you pay different amounts to different users, word will get around.  Set a standard, make sure it’s fair,and don’t break the bank.