Android dos and don’t for business users

By now many IT administrators have probably accepted as a fact of life the commercialization of IT and the flood of user-purchase mobile devices that need to be brought into the coporate network.

With the growing popularity of the Android mobile operating system, it’s probably a safe bet to say that not a few bring your own device (BYOD) practitioners will be requesting to have their Android smart phones or tablets made corporate-friendly.

The use of Android software in the enterprise is relatively new. Here are a few guidelines for businesses considering to use the platform.


Consider corporate fit and employee training – Look before you leap. Determine if replacing existing devices with an Android-based product actually makes sense for your business and if such a move will work in the practical world. Make sure your users are adequately prepared for the change and given enough time to train for the new devices

Plan ahead – Even if you are just working to make sure workers get access to their corporate email accounts with the Samsung Galaxies, make a conscious effort to investigate how best to roll out the service. Anticipate possible downsides and negative impacts to existing business practices and plan out ways to mitigate risks and difficulties.


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Find a middle ground – If you go about your BYOD policy with a heavy hand, you’re bound to get a lot of complaints from device users or worst end up with workers finding ways around your restrictions. On the flipside, throwing the doors wide open exposes the company to a host of security and privacy risks.

Try to find middle ground where employees can gain reasonable secure use of the device’s capabilities in the context of their work without sucking the fun out of it. Investigate products that partition a device into personal and business sections.


Ignore security – You can never really fully protect everyone against all the threats out there. However, a decent VPN support and remore wiping and tracking tools as well as device partitining features can go a long way.

Worry needlessly about fragmentation –  There’s a wide array of Android devices out there and major OEMs have their own customized flavours of Android. Don’t let this needlessly worry you. Many experts say the menace of device fragmentation is overblown. There are many techniques and tools that can help you achieve broad compatibility across Android devices.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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