We’ve all done it. Or should that be we’re all doing it and don’t feel like stopping. What I’m referring to is using our own personal devices, whether that’s a smartphone or tablet, for our employer’s daily work. These devices all have email clients, or a client is easily downloaded from the app store for your device platform. It’s easy then to add your work email alongside your personal email account, and voila, all email accounts intermingled on one device, using one email client. Of course, it’s not just limited to email; it applies to many other use cases too which I’ll touch on later.

So what’s wrong with this approach?

We all think having our work email integrated in this way will aid productivity. But does it? I’ve seen many an instance of replying to the wrong person, or sending a new email addressed to the wrong company entirely. This is not only embarrassing but could also be damaging to your business.

As for the internal IT department, it’s quite likely they have no idea you’re doing this, or maybe even if they do, they can’t see why this might be an issue. The security team may have another view, plus from an overall business perspective this could also be a bad idea. For example, you may leave and still have access to the email stored in the client, even if you no longer have a live account.

While mobile device management solutions can often take care of this and deliver a secured email client for work use, these solutions are often not seen in a positive light by the end users, who take the view their company are “spying” on them. Nonetheless, there are solutions that can manage the apps delivered to a personal phone. So, problem solved? Not quite!

The end user employee is quite likely calling customers and partners using their personal number. They are sending messages using SMS or other messaging platforms such as WhatsApp. So, when the customer calls back using your number, are they aware that you are now working for somebody else, maybe a competitor to your last company? More importantly, does your previous employer know that you are potentially taking business away from them? No, I hadn’t thought of that either, but I have seen first-hand an example of this in the workplace.

Let me tell you a story …

A few years ago, I was looking to purchase a new car. I had a good relationship with my local garage and was about to place an order. I called the salesperson on their mobile number, we went through the details of the deal, which finally concluded with them taking a deposit. It was at that point he informed me he was no longer working at the local garage I have always used; he was now working for a competitor in the next town. My local garage almost lost a loyal customer, all because they allowed their salespeople to use personal mobiles. In that environment, the garage didn’t have the budget for supplying salespeople with corporate mobiles and so would rather their sales team remain contactable using their own devices in order for them to sell.

In IT terms we have all heard of shadow IT, where a department will go outside of the internal IT team and download and use an app of their choosing without IT knowing about it. I have seen instances of shadow phone calls and messaging; work-based calls and messages being made and sent outside the control of the organisation.

But is there a solution?

Well, yes there is. A solution called Cubed Mobile. When I first started working with Cubed Mobile, I initially approached their ethos from the perspective of those IT admin guys. I didn’t think beyond device management and delivering apps to end users who use their own device. Cubed Mobile clearly have a unique approach to app delivery, with a solution that offers a virtual smartphone environment that just runs as an app. However, that is only part of the story and there is a massive differentiator when compared to other solutions.

That massive differentiator is obvious when you come to think about it. Cubed Mobile delivers a virtual smartphone so therefore it works as a phone too!  Why would it not? That means that the virtual smartphone environment can have its own dedicated phone number, managed centrally as part of the virtual phone environment.

By having a dedicated work number, available on a choice of very cost-effective and all-inclusive plans, including free Cubed Mobile to Cubed Mobile calls and messages, the number remains within the organisation. So, if we go back to my real-life example, when that salesperson left my local garage, their virtual number would have been reallocated to an existing salesperson or routed to somebody else within the organisation. This means they would not necessarily lose my custom along with their member of staff.

I’ve highlighted the use case of the smartphone in this blog, and the calling and messaging elements in particular, having seen this first hand. But don’t forget that the IT teams within your organization also have the ability to remotely wipe any other sensitive data and apps from within the virtual environment on the device. Without affecting your own personal smartphone environment.

Cubed Mobile is easy to deploy too. End users simply download the app, and away they go. It means businesses that previously couldn’t see the benefits of giving employees a mobile device, or just didn’t want to, now have a cost-effective solution that means they remain in control of their customer data and contacts, while still allowing employees to use their own personal devices.

In summary

When you consider a solution for mobile devices, such as MDM, it is wise to look at the bigger picture and what end users need. It’s great that apps can be delivered in a secure way, but there is more to mobile devices than just apps, and I think that sometimes gets overlooked. It may benefit a company short term for the end user to use their own data and calling plans, but long term they could easily lose business if the contact number leaves the company with the individual employee.

Next steps …

Datashield and Cubed Mobile can help you hold onto your hard-earned customers and sensitive data.  Contact us today for advice tailored to your individual use case.