When you look around, everyone has some type of mobile device in their hand. Whether they’re using an iPhone, an iPad or a Samsung, 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 and for an organization’s employee to perform a job duty pretty much anywhere. 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. This blog post will explain how organizations are finding success by leveraging mobile as well as what measures need to be in place in order to properly manage the mobile devices.
How businesses are using mobile devices within their organization:
- Integrating Mobile Apps for 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 Microsoft Projects lets employees see their deadlines and priorities at anytime and anyplace throughout their day. They can easily check off items that have been complete, which allows management to see the progress that is being made on a certain task.
- Improving 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. Mobile apps such as Slack or Microsoft Teams allows for strong communication 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.
- Digital Documentation: The days of having to print and fax are over! Now businesses are adding a digital signature so that forms can 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 hospitality, legal, retail and financial industry.
- Mobile Payment Options: Mobile payments take place digitally through your mobile device. You have most likely made a payment contactless using your credit card. For example, in a drive thru you just need to “tap” your card. Now, we are taking it one step further and you simply need to tap your phone and the payment is made through your 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 the devices are working efficiently and securely.
There are a four key steps to consider when your organization starts 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 getting things like your Wi-Fi and email set up on all the devices. 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 your MDM tool you should automatically be able to 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 over the air. 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 device. As an example, if an employee loses their phone or leaves it at a job, through the MDM tools you will have the ability to lock the phone so that if it is 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, SupportMyMac wrote a case study about the non-profit company Actua and how they use iPads across Canada. Leveraging Jamf as their MDM tool has made the use of iPads significantly more effective in how they run their organization.