Mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, and laptops – play an increasingly important role in today’s CRM world. However selecting the right mobile devices isn’t easy. It takes thought and research to come up with the right mobile solution for your business.
Part of the complexity comes from choice. There is an enormous range of mobile devices out there in different form factors, different capabilities and different operating systems.
Another part comes from the policies that must be implemented to make a mobile system work successfully. You can mandate that everyone uses the same company-supplied device, you may require several kinds of devices to support your operations, you may establish a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy where everyone gets to supply their own device, or you may let your users choose from a list of supported devices.
Then there are the integration issues. The mobile devices must support your CRM system and integrate with other systems such as accounting. Not every device can integrate equally well with every system.
All this adds up to a lot of decision making and planning to get your CRM system to go mobile.
One of the first decisions to make is what applications you are going to need. In choosing hardware, the rule is always to choose the applications first and then find the hardware to support it. In the case of mobile devices there are all sorts of applications available to fit every need. It is a matter of choosing the best ones and letting them dictate your choice of mobile devices.
You need to determine what class(es) of mobile device you need. This is a tradeoff between portability, power and screen size and not all your workers will come out with the same mix of features. You may have to support several different classes of mobile devices.
Smartphones are the most compact and easily portable of the classes of devices. However their small screen size limits their use. Further while smartphones can be as intrinsically powerful as a laptop, the many jobs they do cut into their effective power.
Tablets offer more power at the expense of a larger form factor. They are not as convenient to carry as a smartphone but their larger size lets them have more screen area which makes it easier to do things on them. However tablets generally don’t have a separate keyboard, which makes them harder to type on and that makes it harder to do more complex tasks.
Finally there are laptops which are essentially a desktop machine in a flip case. They offer keyboards, large screens and features such as built-in DVD players, making them comparable to the machine on your desk. However they are clumsier than the other kinds of devices.
In any form factor security is a vital consideration. Your device should protect your data both at rest and in motion. That is the devices should provide a secure link for data and a way to store it securely. An important security feature is the ability to lock down and disable the device remotely in the case of loss or theft.
Weigh your choices carefully and don’t just choose the latest shiny object. Do your research and carefully select what’s right for you.
About the Author
Rick Cook has been involved with computers since the days of punched cards and magnetic drum memories. He has written hundreds of articles on computers and related technology as well as a series of fantasy novels full of bad computer jokes.
Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ May 4, 2017 at 01:12PM