A strong MDM strategy begins with HR


Mobile devices in the workplace are reaching critical mass and companies that fail to proactively define a management strategy will soon find themselves in the unfortunate position of playing catch-up. Although a CIO's first instinct is to call a meeting with the IT department to hammer out details for acceptable use policies (AUP), don't forget to include another branch of corporate governance: Human Resources.

Online magazine Baseline makes the compelling case that HR is ideally suited to both understand the nuances of your company's workforce and participate in executing your mobile device management strategy. The introduction of mobile devices and the AUPs that accompany them have the potential to cause employees stress and it's up to HR to mitigate those issues whenever possible.

The article cites four transitional moments to watch for while implementing new mobile device management strategies: transformation, standardization, planning and analytics. Human Resources acts as the lighthouse to help workers navigate these muddy waters while IT works out the logistical details. "Thanks to the responsiveness that mobile devices and their apps offer, HR can test the waters and recalibrate initiatives quickly--and without an excessive investment of time and effort."

There's a fifth potential stressor the article doesn't touch on, however. How HR can help manage company expectations against employee buy-in. Human Resources is in a unique position to address concerns employees may have about device privacy, data collection and so on. At the same time, HR can leverage its policy enforcement tools to assure management that its employees are sticking to the rules.

A study released last month shows that more than 50 percent of U.S.-based employees fear data loss on their personal devices, 11 percent wouldn't report a device they knew was compromised and a full 36 percent wouldn't immediately report leaked data. Data like this undoubtedly leads to the development of more rules and policies, which perpetuates skittishness on both sides of the corporate equation.

Human Resources is a terrific ally in assuaging employee fears because no one wants to see the letter of the law followed more than HR. Don't hesitate to bring them into your next round of mobile device management discussions for input and guidance.

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