Businesses need to revisit smartphone policy every six months

By Nicola Brittain
10 Jun 2010 View Comments
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Use a third-party manager, says Forrester

To fend off security problems in the workplace, IT departments should revisit their mobile strategy every six months, according to Forrester senior analyst Ben Gray.

Talking at the Forrester IT forum EMEA in Lisbon, Gray said that IT departments risk security issues if they do not effectively support smartphones being used by employees to receive and transmit company data.

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And businesses are aware of the risk, with 86 per cent across Europe and the US saying that managing information risk with mobile policy was a critical or high priority, according to research conducted by Gray.

However, many businesses are not yet addressing the problem of a proliferation of platforms.

Only 11 per cent of European IT departments questioned supported personal devices being used in the business, with 13 per cent supporting certain devices, 10 per cent offering limited support to some devices, 31 per cent offering no support at all, 14 per cent prohibiting personal mobile use in work, and four per cent saying they had no official policy.

Because of the increasing complexity in the market – with the increase in the number of smartphone platforms – Gray argued that mobile policy in the business required third-party management solutions.

He said: “There are actually around three dozen vendors in this space,” adding, “The strongest traditional [third-party management] vendors are Sybase and Good, with MobileIron and Trust Digital catching up fast.”

Forrester researcher Onica King said: “A successful mobile policy requires new business processes and efficiencies – it will manage costs, reduce risks and define a clear technology road map.”

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