80% of Arrow employees have work and personal mobiles, is this the norm?

80% of Arrow employees have work and personal mobiles, is this the norm?

With the proliferation of social media networking, mobile phones are becoming the hub to all our social lives. But there is an understandable reluctance to use the ‘company mobile’ with all its restrictions in a social setting, particularly if it’s a BlackBerry as all data on it can be accessed via the BES.  There’s also the element of ‘being off the clock’ – you don’t really want to carry your work mobile around on the weekend.

The rise of the smartphone means the traditional boundaries imposed by our IT policies are blurring. Should employees be allowed to update Facebook from their company mobile or upload music files?

Our customers frequently ask us for advice on resolving issues where end-users are swapping their work SIM card between devices or running up charges browsing Facebook photos whilst roaming, for example.

In the USA personally liable mobile phones are becoming increasingly popular. The end-user buys the device, pays the charges and claims back the monthly running costs. Whilst cost-effective for IT in terms of administering the mobile phone fleet, it also raises a different set of challenges “hey it’s my BlackBerry..you’re not allowed to wipe it”

BlackBerry believe they have the solution to this problem – they’ve just announced the introduction of BlackBerry Balance – http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE70M2BT20110123 as an upgrade to the BES server, which permits the IT department to have full control over the company data, but gives the end-user control over personal data such as web-browsing, photos and personal email.

Will this move people back to just one device?  Hard to say. But it will allow organisations to give end-users more freedom without compromising basic IT standards, and that has to be a good thing.

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