Here at E RADAR we recognise that mobile enterprise is the future for information society and the digital economy.
The important thing is making that mobility safe and legal. That's no mean feat given the risks created by the 'Martini factor' of 'Any time, any place' (except certain Greater Manchester suburbs where a rationalisation of 'phone masts has caused consternation). Put 'utility computing' with BYOD and information safety disappears like a summer cloud. Mobile devices - synonymous with intentional and unintentional BYOD - are creating gravity wells for information from the Internet ...and the Internet of things will make things foggier and in some cases darker or downright murderous. There will always be some information where impact of a breach will always outweigh the opportunity cost of convenience. Mobile devices and BYOD - be they laptops, notebooks, or tablets, are introducing latency into the discovery process. How long before and organisation realises that work (its intellectual property) is evolving elsewhere? The next year to 18 months is crucial: organisations have to create the environment - and this means ICT strategy - which encourages sensible usage. Past 18 months and we'll almost certainly be trying to cope with the innovation that we didn't spot with our Google glass. One is put in mind of the organisation where lawyers and surveyors exchange photographic evidence through their own devices and external accounts because external devices banned (in response to an incident through a poorly protected machine). Policy is key; we always need a good user manual for ICT - one person's intuitive use is another's route to a six figure fine from the ICO or more from the upcoming The Financial Conduct Authority.
— Will Roebuck (@ERADARtweet) August 28, 2013
There will always be some information where the impact of a breach will always outweigh the opportunity cost of convenience. But this is a business decision - not an ICT decision. Business should decide and engage with ICT to make it so...and this is likely to cost...but if you want the benefits... Some stuff will have to remain in environment managed by all the controls of ISO/IEC 27001.
If we can break through the trust barrier, investment in mobile technology may create the fluid workforce to avoid commuter transport problems. Can mobile technology reduce congestion from school runs as children do more school work from home? Will that opportunity be opened up by the mobile workforce. As a single parent with mobile work patterns, there's nothing like a school run to break up a creative session at the beginning of the traditional working day.
Our research at E RADAR suggests that BYOD is more prevalent than reported. Organisations are vaguely aware of remote workers and work being done on equipment that they do not own but don't realise that this is BYOD until it's pointed out. And no one I've asked has the answer for the implications of warranties and replacements so that when the tablet breaks or is stolen, who has to repair or replace it and what is the working pattern when it's out of commission?
If mobile broadband is clearly the future, should we be investing heavily in fixed line broadband? Should organisations carry out more mobile workforce audits to identify (1) workers who can benefit from mobile working and (2) where company resources can be saved (e.g. electricity, office space, etc. etc.). Does government have the foresight, inclination and ability to join up departmental policies to bring about a total revolution and evolution for 'mobile' Britain? And what about the risks? Mobile technology has to be robust, be able to authenticate, have integrity, provide confidentiality and defend against attack. The individual user is also at the heart of everything mobile technology stands for - it is the link to their personal space. Laws and regulations must therefore provide a framework of respect around the individual. Organisations will have to get smarter in how they manage contact. Time is previous to us all and we won't stand for irrelevant sales pitches, long call centre waits, advertising gimmicks whilst we wait to speak to an operator - or anything else we are not happy with. Because mobile commerce is I-commerce - it's all about me! Mobile technology trips the trends from globalisation towards localism. We need to be able to see and touch things before we buy, so giving us the deal on the mobile phone as we walk past the shop may be one part of the solution to the declining high street. The technology is willing but the flesh would like more say!