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Smartphones in the enterprise: Freedom, power and information

We love our smartphones. It’s understandable, this unique attachment we have to our intelligent devices. The familiar, comforting glow of the LCD screen. The soothing pulse of a blinking message light. Smartphones have become indespensible for both consumer and business use.

I use mine as an alarm clock, a GPS system, a camera, a video camera, an MP3 player, a calendar, oh, and I even place and receive calls with it. I check and respond to text messages, voicemail, email, Facebook and Twitter. I won’t even mention the available smartphone apps.  We all know there’s an app for everything, if not, it’s coming soon. Check back tomorrow.

For personal use, they are indispensible. As a business tool, these pocket-sized powerhouses equip on-the-go employees with the power of a laptop. People not only use smartphones to access multimodal messages, they use smartphones to store and retrieve valuable records and files.

The smartphone won’t push the laptop into extinction any time soon, primarily because of its size. However, with Bluetooth and USB keyboard add ons and wireless connectivity to a larger external display, such as a hotel TV, smartphones could be accountable for dustier laptops in the near future.

Smartphone security becomes a bigger issue as employees use smartphones as an adjunct to the laptop or PC, as does the management of these mobile devices. Remote lock/wipe functions are available for lost or stolen phones. Anti-virus client applications, firewalls and back up can help safeguard proprietary or sensitive data. Fingerprint sensors are becoming increasingly popular as an added measure of security.

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