Although BYOD (bring your own device) isn’t making as many headlines as it was a year ago, the reason for this is not due to mobility being a passing fad. Rather, companies’ attitudes and acceptance of personal mobile devices in the workplace is maturing. In fact, CompTIA’s 3rd Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility study, which was based on input from 400 U.S.-based end users, corroborates this idea. According to the study, 76% of workers report splitting their work time between office and home and 47% of workers say they travel for work 50% or more of the time during their normal workweek. Mobile devices, not workstations, are needed in this “work from anywhere” environment.
Looking across the spectrum of businesses — from small firms (less than 100 employees) to large firms (500+ employees) — reveals that 49% or more have at least partial BYOD initiatives in place.
So, the reality is that your customers’ employees are bringing their tablets and smartphones to work and using these devices both for personal and business purposes. This opens up a whole new set of needs, such as mobile security and mobile data protection – topics that fall under the MDM (mobile device management) umbrella.
Here’s a question you may not have considered: “What kind of policy or system do you have in place to back up your customers’ mobile devices?” Or, what about this: “How are you helping your customers distinguish security and backup policies for employees’ personal data and their corporate data?”
Another thing to consider is: “How can you optimize the business application experience between mobile devices and traditional workstations?” Although it’s not difficult to provide mobile users access to business applications, oftentimes the user experience and functionality differs significantly. For example, a user may be able to open a Microsoft Word document on their iPad, but perhaps the tracking feature showing document changes or annotations aren’t visible. Jason Lambert, Ingram Micro’s Cloud Technical Consultant for Microsoft Cloud addresses this topic in his latest blog, “Mobile first with Microsoft Azure Remote app…” The Azure RemoteApp combines Windows applications with Remote Desktop Services to give users access to corporate applications from anywhere on any device. Incorporating a solution like this into your BYOD sales strategy can go a long way in showing your customers that you’re not merely a product reseller – you’re able to help resolve their most pressing business challenges.
The reality is that your customers are counting on you to be their trusted adviser. If one of your customer’s employees loses their mobile device along with hours of corporate data that wasn’t backed up, your customer’s trust in you could be lost as well.
If there’s one lesson that was revealed by the State of Cloud Backup study (conducted by the 2112 Group) it was this: when it comes to selling BCDR (business continuity and disaster recovery), taking a “wait and see” approach, which sadly is the approach used by 44% of IT professionals, is not a viable option for an ITSP that wants to be a trusted business adviser. Many ITSPs are starting to see this truth with regard to protecting data that resides on servers and workstations. The most successful ITSPs, however, also recognize the importance of extending that same backup and security protection to their customers’ mobile devices.