The more employees rely on a robust mobile infrastructure, the less they can tolerate
going without their smartphone if it’s damaged or lost. Who can blame them? If a mobile device can allow them to maximize their work output when they are on the road or working from home, why would any employee want to go back?
Often, once given a company mobile device, their attachment to it goes beyond a workplace tool. There’s a lot at stake for a company: day-to-day “continuity of productivity” and user satisfaction. It’s fundamental to employees’ personal lives as well. Mobile problems affect them acutely and produce immediate reactions, which IT help desk workers can certainly attest to. Mobile upgrades impact many employees – the smartphone is the only work tool they keep close at hand 24/7. There is a lot to consider in order to ensure that employees’ mobile devices are as up to date as possible.
One issue is employee education. What is the level of support and helpdesk education required to keep employees “always on?” In order to achieve this goal, there must be some standardization as to how mobile devices and the employees who love them are managed. Is there a section in the employee handbook that covers mobile devices? Do all employees know what to do if their devices are stolen or lost? Are reminders in place to ensure that all employees back up data and perform software updates?
Then there are a few conundrums the IT Department must face. For instance, how quickly should lost or damaged devices be replaced? How does the company plan to deliver replacement devices to end-users so they can stay “always on”? As it has already been discussed, being “always on” is essential to an employee’s state of mind. A proper procurement system is a crucial step in maintaining continuity of productivity for employees. However, some questions go along with how best to stock inventory, and provide hot swaps. A strategy must be in place to provide ongoing maintenance and support for end-users.
When an IT department lacks options for internal support and established support as a service for COPE devices, it can create a backlog of potential problems. Curtailing that backlog requires that help desk calls are completed on a timely basis. It also requires maintaining consistent, correct configurations across platforms, devices, and carriers. The IT department must keep the upgraded mobile device lifecycle working at all times. It is incredibly important to track inventory and keep hot swap spares with a strong repair and replacement plan in place that can be executed quickly. It is up to the IT department to ensure that the appropriate mobile skills and expertise are in place, so service-desk calls can be completed efficiently. If any of these components fall away, it can lead to disastrous results for employees who feel the need to be connected at all times.
That is a lot of work! Most IT departments do not have the bandwidth to properly manage this. Often IT departments are too overwhelmed to complete all mobile device help desk tickets in a timely manner that keep the mobile device lifecycle up to date. One should consider a third party to take on end-user mobility support. Whether an organization needs to overhaul their COPE policy to ensure that employee codependency doesn’t overwhelm the IT department or needs to seek outside help, the most important thing to remember is that prying devices out of their employees’ hands without the support systems in place to manage them is half the battle.