The art of business operations has significantly evolved over the past few years as new technology enters the workplace. Specifically, mobile devices have encouraged management to adapt their strategies to incorporate the hardware and reap competitive benefits from their use. However, with this equipment, there are considerations that organizations must factor in before incorporating it into their processes. Much of the concern has revolved around security, tool provisioning and overall regulation, which are all made challenging by the fragmented mobile market. But, despite the complexity of the trend, more companies are integrating it to see what advantages it can offer.

Running on apps
As mobile devices emerged in the consumer and enterprise environments, many experts predicted that the hardware would replace legacy systems like computers in favor of a more flexible system. While computers are being used less than they were, mobile equipment often acts as an additional asset rather than a substitute. However, as mobile devices become more advanced, will it be possible to conduct all business on this hardware, ending legacy services for good? CloudTweaks contributor Jon Roskill noted that it's easier than ever to do work on this equipment, as the cloud is enabling complex programs to function well across mobile devices.

Although many employees may not be able to see themselves migrating from their current set up, with the right applications, the transition could be simpler than they expect. By using the best component suites, developers can provide the tools staff members require while ensuring that workers can effectively leverage their devices.

"If you really want your mobile device to power your business, you'll want to invest in some apps created specifically for that purpose," Roskill wrote. "Business management software that can manage CRM, keep track of invoices, and monitor warehouse data is more valuable to your company than a game in the Apple store, and you get what you pay for: a robust program that can handle the tasks necessary to run your business, while you're en route to your next meeting, whether it's down the street or across a few time zones."

Leveraging apps for best BYOD capabilities
Any BYOD effort would be incomplete without the programs employees are able to use in their daily tasks. If decision-makers do not regulate app use, it could lead to shadow IT practices, leaving mission-critical data vulnerable to compromise and potential breaches. However, ITWeb contributor Gareth Tudor noted that by focusing on which programs are used, organizations can work to bolster their protection measures. Building in end-point data encryption, establishing effective policies and creating apps with both the user and security in mind will go a long way toward mitigating risks and reinforcing data safety.

Tudor recommends determining what type of existing security the device itself has, as it will also need safeguards to ensure that data does not end up in the wrong hands. App developers will have to capitalize on these available features in addition to their own built-in protections to guarantee vulnerabilities will be eliminated. Encryption and other security tools like remote wiping can help keep data safe by allowing only authorized users to view it. The business will have to establish a policy for these features to verify that staff understand what measures will be taken and effectively reduce shadow IT practices.

"Implementing an effective BYOD strategy that ensures organizations can leverage the benefits without exposure to unnecessary risk requires a multi-fold approach to data protection," Tudor wrote. "Ensuring this is done correctly is essential, as the consequences of getting it wrong could be detrimental to the business."