It took a grassroots effort by the top financial advisors and executives who purchased iPhones and iPads personally and began to use them without enterprise IT support. Now it is up to enterprise IT professionals to make sure these devices are here to stay.
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Yet most IT professionals continue to insist that PCs and Blackberries are all an advisor needs in terms of enterprise product support. It’s time for IT folks to let go of this hidebound attitude and embrace the new technologies, which serve well for both personal and business use. In fact, I have come up with a term to express the state of these new devices that combine personal and enterprise data – they are “hybrid enterprise capable devices.”
There is no doubt businesses are embracing the new technologies. For instance, a recent Reuters article
states U.S. companies are poised to buy more than 10 million tablet computers this year, accounting for 25% of overall sales. That percentage will rise in coming years as businesses, including financial services enterprises, discover the utility of tablet computers
The reality is that financial services professionals are using these products to help them run their lives, making them more than just a fad. The same cannot be said for some of the older technologies that sat in a corner gathering dust. IT professionals need to recognize this growing usage and embrace it, rather than discourage it.
To make tablets and smartphones into enterprise featured devices is pretty simple, you must configure them to protect your data from unauthorized use.
At a minimum you should:
1. Password protect your device.
2. Configure your email system so you can lock and remove your emails remotely.
3. Connect to your confidential data through remote access tools like Logmein Ignition or RDP.
As a financial services professional, you can play a role in this revolution by not only using the new technologies but also by encouraging your IT professionals to help configure them to protect your confidential data. It would only take one bad publicized data loss to get these devices banned from being used in financial services for professional purposes.