The migration of business from behind to beyond the firewall offers a breathtaking array of new features and functions. It also comes with more danger, and a wider variety of choices and strategies in how to safeguard devices and data. Indeed, the three elements -- more choice, more danger and more protective options -- are deeply intertwined.
At our CTO Edge site, Wayne Rash provides a nice collection of tips to mitigate the dangers of cellular. They include using more than one wireless carrier and platform, increasing flexibility, letting employees use their own devices if they meet corporate requirements, and not letting the business become completely dependent on cellular.
It's a very good list. The main point, however, is that it is largely predicated on widening the way in which things are done. The challenge is that diversity usually equals complexity. Each step Wayne suggests is worth doing, but only if implemented in a manner that minimizes the additional confusion.
I'm a big advocate of telecommunication expense management (TEM) both because it cuts costs-as the name implies-and because necessary elements of the process are a deep knowledge of the firm's wireless/cellular endeavors and a high level of organization on how they are deployed. These attributes, whether they are brought by an organization's TEM initiative or in some other manner, are even more important if a firm's cellular initiatives are diversified.
This press release is aimed, as most press releases are, at getting the reader to use a particular product. That doesn't mean, however, that all the information in it isn't useful. In this case, the release provides a good indication of why close oversight of cellular activities is necessary. The release points out that it is difficult to find the most cost-effective plan available, changes may not be executed properly, it is difficult to understand cellular offers and service provider bills offer minimal information. The end results are patchwork company cellular contracts that waste money without clearly stating what costs are incurred and services rendered.
This TMC piece offers more insight into the advantages of TEM. The writer refers to a Forrester report that differentiates the advantages between large and small companies. There are baseline financial advantages for all sizes of organizations, of course. For smaller firms, those immediate cost savings are the main advantage. Enterprises enjoy added advantages, such as the ability to tie into and pull information from departments. One example: A well-structured TEM program will link to HR and ensure that an employee's phone and wireless devices are turned off when he or she leaves the company.
Sensible cellular profiles include a measure of diversity that leads to secure and reliable service. The key, however, is to manage these services with extraordinary care, lest they get out of hand.