Mobile technology—tablets, smartphones, and laptops—are enabling companies to set up flexible remote work on scales previously unimaginable. But while these increasingly distributed intra-office networks create a host of benefits for employees, they also pose big challenges for employers, as Ars Technica reports.Security, for one, remains a big concern, especially when trade secrets can be stolen from across the world with only an internet connection and a few lines of code. As a result, companies are figuring out ways to enable mobile work while maintaining enterprise-wide security:
One solution is “dual-persona” technology that creates a secure workspace within a phone or tablet that contains only work applications and data. Data can’t move from the work container to the rest of the phone and vice versa. IT shops can also manage the work container separately from the personal side of the phone, letting them perform remote wipes without deleting an employee’s personal items. […]In addition to isolating work applications and data from personal apps and data, IT shops are using cross-platform management tools to control devices from a central location. This can mean ensuring that applications are updated, only providing employees access to data they have clearance to see, and remotely deleting the contents of phones when an employee leaves the company or the device is lost. BlackBerry enterprise management tools, Microsoft’s System Center Mobile Device Manager, Good, Air-Watch, and MobileIron are among the top competitors here.
Of course, the downside of creating a ubiquitous, ever-present mobile office is the difficulty many workers will have separating work from their personal lives. That’s not a new complaint; people have griped about not being able to leave work at work for decades. But it is becoming a more common one.The benefits of telework, however—things like real estate savings, increased productivity, and healthier personal lives for employees—make it worthwhile to look for ways to iron out this wrinkle.[Telecommuting image courtesy of Shutterstock]