Posts Tagged ‘mobile technology’

Ten Commandments for Developing a Mobile Strategy

Posted on: August 28th, 2015 by jiml | No Comments

Over the past few months, Colden Company has held a couple of mobility seminars to help businesses avoid the mistakes that many businesses make when deploying mobile technology. In this blog posting, we will be highlighting our Ten Commandments for developing a successful mobility strategy for your business.

Ten Commandments of Mobile Computing

Ten Commandments for Developing a Mobile Strategy

1. Start with a business problem.

Do not start your mobility strategy with “I want to use my iPad for work”. Identify areas of your business that can benefit from a mobile solution and spend the time to analyze the cost/benefit. Have the business problem you are solving well defined before moving ahead.

2. Create your policy before procuring technology.

To effectively leverage mobile device management (MDM) technology particularly for employee owned devices, you still need to decide on policies. These policies affect more than just IT; they have implications for HR, legal, and security—any part of the business that uses mobile devices in the name of productivity. Since all lines of business are affected by BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, it can’t be created in an IT vacuum. With the diverse needs of users, IT must ensure they are all part of policy creation. Some questions to consider…

• Devices: What mobile devices will be supported? Only certain devices or whatever the employee wants? According to Forrester, 70% of smartphones belong to users, 12% are chosen from an approved list, and 16% are corporate-issued. Some 65% of tablets belong to users, 15% are chosen from a list, and 16% are corporate issued. In other words, users in most cases bring their own devices.
• Data Plans: Will the organization pay for the data plan at all? Will you issue a stipend, or will the employee submit expense reports? Who pays for these devices? For smartphones, 70% paid the full price, 12% got a discount, 3% paid a partial amount, and in 15% of cases, the company covered the full price. With tablets, 58% bought their own, 17% got a corporate discount, 7% shared the cost, and 18% were issued and paid for by their companies. (Source: Forrester, 2011)
• Compliance: What regulations govern the data your organization needs to protect? For instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) require native / encryption on any device that holds data subject to the act.
• Security: What security measures are needed (passcode protection, jailbroken/rooted devices, anti-malware apps, encryption, device restrictions, iCloud backup)?
• Applications: What apps are forbidden? IP scanning, data sharing, Dropbox?
• Agreements: Is there an Acceptable Usage Agreement (AUA) for employee devices with corporate data?
• Services: What kinds of resources can employees access—email? Certain wireless networks or VPNs? CRM?
• Privacy: What data is collected from employees’ devices? What personal data is never collected?

No questions are off limits when it comes to BYOD. There must be frank and honest dialog about how devices will be used and how IT can realistically meet those needs.

3. Never put sensitive business data on a mobile device that you don’t manage.

Once data is moved from your corporate network to a mobile device that is not corporately managed, you lose control over that what happens to that data. Make sure you have a policy and security measures in place that dictate sensitive data never ends up unmanaged. Unmanaged data leads to security breaches.

4. Hold personal data sacred.

Some mobile device management (MDM) solutions have features to wipe a lost or stolen mobile device. If your company allows BYOD your business needs to make sure you understand your legal limitations. Businesses cannot wipe employees’ personal data off their phones. Employee’s personal data belongs to the employee in a BYOD situation.

5. Keep personal and business data separate.

Choose an MDM solution that can containerize your business data. That way, when the time comes to wipe your business data from a BYOD phone, your business can do that and not affect the employees’ personal data.

6. Pilot a mobile solution before deployment.

Mobile solutions have more variables that a traditional PC solution.
• What is the mobile user experience like?
• What is the impact on battery life for mobile devices that are already power-constrained?
• What is the security impact of the solution?
• Does the solution truly allow employees to be mobile, or is the solution more of a stop-gap solution that still requires access to the office or a PC? In other words, can your employee be fully mobile – are all necessary features present?
• What platform(s) does the solution run on?
• How are you going to manage that platform?
• What is data usage like? Will the solution send your carrier data bill through the roof?

7. Regulations matter!

Does your business work in an industry that has regulatory concerns? Make sure you are fully aware of your obligations before going forward with your mobile strategy.

8. Have a support plan in place for your mobile users.

Think BYOD means businesses no longer have to provide tech support to employees who use their own devices? Once you bring mobile devices into your business network, employees will expect support – BYOD or COD. In fact, you will probably have more mobile devices (tablets, smartphones, etc.) that you expect once you open the flood gates. Know what you’re going to support, define what you’ll support, or be ready for anything.

9. Make employees accountable.

Have employees review the BYOD policy and require a signature as acknowledgement of the rules and their required compliance to participate in the program. Training sessions may also be necessary to help employees understand their obligations under the acceptable use policy. Make sure employees know who to contact with support needs and questions.

10. Gain the expertise before making decisions or partner with an expert.

Building a successful mobility strategy takes time, effort and expertise. If you do not have the time or expertise, consider partnering with an expert who can make sure your mobility strategy is a success. Mobile technology is only going to increase in the future. Create a good mobility strategy now and reap the benefits later!

Does your business have a proper mobile strategy? Call us at (888) 600-4560, email us, or see us on Facebook or Twitter and let our experts help your business create a solid foundation for your mobile technology.

Technology Challenges Faced by the Construction Vertical

Posted on: November 29th, 2014 by jiml | No Comments

Different vertical markets often have differing IT needs. Let’s take the case of a vertical that we at Colden Company work with very frequently – the construction vertical.

There are unique challenges that this industry has that other industries do not face. For example, it is often joked that in construction, whoever messes up the estimate the most gets the job. In other words, it is the lowest bidder who often wins, and if you come in the lowest based on a mistake, that directly impacts your profitability on the job. Other parts of the world might work differently where a job is defined down to the material level and each bidder bids on the exact same list. In a case like this, the true low bidder often wins the job. The consequence of our system of bidding is that construction companies can face damaging losses from a job estimated poorly. That one bad job can wipe out the profits of many good jobs, leading construction companies to often be cautious with their IT spends. The consequence is an increased importance that IT spending be in the right areas on the right technologies that can help profitability.

Getting information to and from job sites is also a unique challenge that other verticals may not face. Getting job information into your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in a timely fashion can help catch problems early and save a job from turning unprofitable. Mobile technology has been a great advantage for this industry, helping facilitate the process of getting information from the field to the office and vice versa. There is more technology available today than ever before to do this. From iPads, to Surface Pro tablets, to some of the gigantic phones (phablets) that are now available, communication is not the problem. Finding the right device that works with the software you need for data integration is the challenge. Consequently, what may be the right tool for one company is often not the right tool for another. For example, a Colden Company customer approached us asking how they can utilize iPads in the field; their competitor was already doing so and they wanted to level the playing field. The software our customer was using was Windows-based, so the iPad was not the best choice. We fitted our customer with a fleet of Microsoft Surface Pro tablets, running Windows 8.1, which allowed them to transfer information back and forth into their accounting system seamlessly. It is all about properly analyzing the needs and fitting the right solution.

At Colden Company, we work with our customers to maximize the business benefits of technology by properly aligning technology purchases to business needs. We often say that technology for the sake of technology does not solve anyone’s problems. Technology that solves a business need is what we do for our customers. Another saying we often use is “if you are running your business the same way you were a few years ago, you are not staying the same, you are falling behind”. If you are not utilizing mobile technology, your competition likely is.

What part of your business would you like to run more efficiently utilizing mobile technology? Contact us to discuss how we can help. Call us at (888) 600-4560, email us at, or see us on Facebook or Twitter (@coldenco).