The Steps of Mobile Device Lifecycle

Mobile devices are being deployed and utilized in the workplace at an astonishing rate. More and more, our work requires us to be away from our desk – and mobile technology allows us to do so.

These devices are either commuting home (BYOD), or being providing to employees by the organization. Each option has its own risks, costs and benefits, each of which must be carefully considered. We’ve discussed this on our blog before – the real costs of BYOD, and projections for the future of devices in the office.

But for today, let’s take a step back. We’ll look at mobility from the 10,000 foot view.

What is the lifecycle of a mobile device? We’ve broken down the major considerations and steps in the mobility lifecycle into four pillars:

ONE. Security.

The biggest threat to mobile devices in the workplace is the end user. Which means lost and stolen devices should be the first thing on the organization’s mind. Even something as simple as the 4-digit unlock code has been proven to provide a great layer of security over lost or stolen devices. The ability to remotely lock and wipe a device is another strong suggestion.

TWO. Build.

This part of the lifecycle is all about developing and deploying new, mobile apps custom to the organization. Will there be limits for what the employee be able to do with the device? Will the device be limited to the organization’s custom apps? Who will create these apps (and at what cost), and how will they be deployed to current mobile users?

THREE. Management.

This pillar can adapt a variety of meanings and interpretations, depending on your organization’s size and structure. Management can come in the form of email management, content management, or application management. How will employees gain access to their work-related materials from their device?  Will you build custom applications to allow for this flow of information, or will you use pre-existing applications (think Dropbox, VPN, etc)?

FOUR. On-Going Support.

One of the struggles of BYOD is the sheer amount of devices available in the market. It’s so hard for an IT department to be adequately knowledgeable (or even masters) of all of these devices. This potential obstacle is what pushes some organizations to providing a list of approved devices, or taking on the cost of providing the devices to their employees. From device set up, to maintenance and troubleshooting… on-going support is a big consideration not to be taken lightly.

 What is your plan for managing mobile devices in 2015? If you are short on time or personnel, it might be time to consider a 3rd party.