07/05/2019

There is a war going on in the office. Well, maybe more of a battle, but there is definitely blood in the sand.

On the one side, the IT department’s representative. Normally a strong and powerful figure in the office, he somehow looks diminished and muted, standing awkwardly against a wall, praying for it to swallow him.

On the other side is Stacey. Stacey needs no introduction; she is the big hitter of the outbound sales team and has personality for days. The same personality that is slowly screwing the poor IT chap to the wall with a torrent of protestation.

It’s a real ding-dong affair.

So, what has caused this quarrel?

A mobile phone. More specifically, Stacey’s mobile phone. The personal one that she uses for work because she didn’t want two telephones. That one.

That phone must have several years’ worth of data on it – customer names, numbers, old pricing and quotes as well as Stacey’s personal stuff, like her photos, social media content and her contacts. The IT guy is trying to explain to her that she can’t work this way anymore. He is losing.

Mr IT chap explains, either she needs to install the company’s new security package on her phone, which will lock her out from all social media applications and any non-business websites, or she needs to start using a company mobile and remove all customer specific data from her current phone, which cannot be done it seems without wiping clean the entire device.

Classic rock and hard place dichotomy. Currently Stacey is filling both roles and the IT fellow is discovering what it’s like to be in the middle.

As I look on, I know that ultimately the IT guy will win. Current standards regarding the retention, encryption and deletion of customer data demand a security strategy for team members’ mobile devices. The fines for neglecting this are no joke and would put a small or medium business on the breadline – something the IT team is unwilling to risk. A reasonable stance.

However, when in danger of losing the priceless images of her niece’s Christening in her WhatsApp, reasonable has left for the day and Ms Shouty has taken up residence.

If only they had considered a mobile device security strategy back in the day. An MDM suite can accommodate personal devices being used for business use. The application sets up a partition on the device, keeping private, personal items separate from your business data. If the device is lost, stolen, compromised or no longer required for work, you can simply delete the partitioned information, leaving the personal untouched and ensuring compliance with information retention guidelines. This can be done remotely too.

Applications normally used for personal reasons that have also been used for work contacts, like WhatsApp and Facebook, can be locked out of the business partition to prevent cross contamination. Your business address book sits inside the company partition, so those contacts won’t show up in your personal accounts. Clever stuff.

And all that is in addition to all the other management and reporting options available with this solution.

I watch Stacey frog-march the IT bloke back to his office, where they will sit and review each item on that phone line-by-line until she is happy. It could take days, but the IT chap has nowhere else to go. Stacey is literally standing in the way.

For a small investment per device, your company can safeguard against all of this. You can promote compliance, manage usage and spend as well as monitor and administer to each device remotely. Any personal devices used for work can be accommodated and the cover can apply to tablets as well as mobile phones.

Don’t risk your team being caught out in this way. Give GT a call and ask us about device management. Don’t have your personal world and your business world at war with each other.

Peace. Love. GT