A widespread lack of protocols for mobile employee access to corporate networks among SMBs may not be too surprising a survey finding. However, according to a new survey from Citrix Systems, there is also a somewhat surprising lack of awareness about mobile employee access to corporate networks among SMBs.
Survey results indicate that more than 67% of US SMBs have no policies, procedures or IT systems in place to manage the use of personal mobile devices for business purposes. Compounding this lack of governance is the fact that less than half of US SMBs (46%) are aware of all the mobile devices their staffers are using for business purposes.
Productivity Gains RemainDespite those significant shortcomings in SMB oversight of how employees use mobile devices to access corporate networks, the fact remains that allowing employees this type of access can produce substantial benefits. For example, 53% of SMBs have recorded productivity improvements of more than 10%, with 16% confirming gains of more than 30%.
With those kinds of results, it makes sense that globally, 35% of SMBs say they are under greater pressure than five years ago to offer more flexibility for employees.
Security Concerns Also RemainAllowing employees to access corporate systems with personal mobile devices increases employee well-being by allowing them a better work-life balance, and also increases their accessibility and availability, all while reducing overhead associated with mobile hardware and software.
But of course, not all is rosy with this scenario. Roughly one-third (32%) of US SMBs are most concerned about the security implications of allowing application and document downloads, and another 23% are concerned about remote access to the corporate network.
MSPs Can Help Solve the PuzzleFor many SMBs, employee access to corporate systems via personal mobile devices is a puzzle which can reap big dividends if properly solved. And MSPs can help solve the puzzle in a myriad of ways.
For starters, MSPs can assist SMBs in establishing and maintaining policies and procedures governing how employees use personal mobile devices to access corporate networks, including restrictions on what areas can be accessed and what types of files and data can and cannot be downloaded. In addition, MSPs can help SMBs track and regulate exactly what devices are being used.
In addition, MSPs are in an ideal situation to provide managed mobile security services to protect against hackers, devices falling into the wrong hands, etc. Any time potential opportunity intersects with management issues, MSPs should be ready to come in and offer assistance. Mobile employee access to SMB corporate networks is a prime example of this type of situation.