When you look around, people are using mobile devices everywhere. It’s now the norm to see people on their devices in all types of public places. With companies and people becoming increasingly connected, mobile devices allow for an ease of access. It’s increasingly known that customers are also becoming more mobile-oriented. They perform website searches to gather initial information, they place orders on their phones and even pay for things with their phones.
In 2013, the AT&T Small Business Technology Poll reported that 85% of small businesses now use some kind of smartphone device. Today we’ll explore how organizations are finding success by leveraging mobile as well as what needs to be done in order to properly manage these devices.
How are businesses are using mobile devices within their organization?
- By Integrating Mobile Apps as Management Tools: Mobile apps help to ensure your employees have all the information they need right at their fingertips. Integrating project management apps such as Asana or Office 365 lets employees view deadlines and priorities at any time and anyplace throughout their day. They can easily check off items that have been completed, which allows management to see the progress that is being made on a certain task.
- To Improve Communication Tactics: Integrating apps which allow for email accounts and calendars to be accessed through a mobile device helps to create an efficient, time sensitive workflow. Apps such as Slack or Microsoft Teams allow for easy communication efforts across teams, including management. With an increase in the amount of employees who are working remote, these apps are an integral part to the functionality of a team.
- For Digital Documentation: The days of having to print and fax are over! Now businesses are adding a digital signature so that forms can easily be filled out on an iPhone or an iPad. After they’re signed, with the click of a button they can be sent off to the right person. This has been seen across a variety of industries including the healthcare, legal, retail and the financial industry.
- As Mobile Payment Options: Mobile payments take place digitally through your mobile device. You may have made a payment contactless before using your credit card. You simply just “tap” your card. Now, we are taking it one step further and you simply need to tap your phone and the payment will be made through the credit card in your mobile wallet. These tools play a large role in the overall customer experience, especially in the retail and services environment.
In order to effectively use mobile devices within your organization, it is important the devices are managed appropriately. This is a term we refer to as Mobile Device Management (MDM). At SupportMyMac, we use Jamf as our mobile device management tool. This helps to ensure that all mobile devices are working efficiently and securely.
There are four key steps to consider when your organization decides to implement mobile devices.
- Set up & Configuration: At this stage, you have all your mobile devices and they are ready to start being used! The first thing that needs to be done is to get logged in and connected to the Wi-Fi. Through the MDM tool this can be done quickly and consistently across all devices.
- Inventory: There are hardware, software and security configuration details that should be collected and stored from each mobile device. Using an MDM tool we can automatically collect this information from each device.
- Manage: There will most likely be specific apps that you want on every device. These can be centrally deployed. As your employees change or as you integrate new apps into your workflow this can all easily be reassigned through the MDM tool.
- Protect: Implementing mobile devices has many benefits but at the end of the day it is another device that holds sensitive information about your organization. A MDM tool will secure sensitive data, enforcing passwords and remote locks of the devices. As an example, if an employee loses their phone or leaves it at a jobsite, through the MDM tool you will have the ability to lock the phone so that if it’s found no one has access to any of the information.
Organizations are continuing to learn new ways to adapt mobile devices into their workflow in order to improve efficiencies, their communication and their services to their customers. To learn more, check out the case study about the Ottawa-based non-profit company Actua and how they’re using iPads in their programs across Canada while making use of the MDM Jamf.