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How can IT manage emerging mobile technology?

IT admins can get overwhelmed or undermined when it comes to the emerging mobile technology arriving in businesses. To stay on top of trends, it's crucial to plan ahead.

Finding emerging mobile technology in the business world nowadays is about as guaranteed as finding sand on a beach.

Companies can repurpose most of the new technology coming to market that appeals to end users to fit corporate needs. Not all emerging mobile technology makes it into the enterprise, but the internet of things (IoT), augmented reality and virtual reality (VR), drones, autonomous vehicles and smartwatches show promise. Most of the emerging tech is right at users' fingertips with smartphones and mobile apps.

IT must secure, manage and support any technology employees use. Other than just saying no, is there anything that IT can do to make this task easier? Here are some suggestions.

No doesn't always mean no

Don't assume saying no will stop the latest mobile technology from coming in the company doors. Most new tech makes its way in via high-level executives that demand it for themselves or for their associates. They have enough power and financial backing to make it happen. Wearable devices are one of the most common examples of this; executives will introduce fitness trackers to make a health goal for employees or smartglasses for hands-free work.

All companies should have a strategic plan that assesses and reviews emerging mobile technology. Input from the IT guru -- that person in the office who follows all the latest tech trends and is the first to get all the latest gadgets -- can often accomplish this planning. Regular assessments of emerging tech can go a long way to preventing surprises.

Bring the big picture into focus

Have a strategy for integrating emerging mobile technology into the company. This should include the basics of how to evaluate, secure, manage, support and ultimately enable any new tech that the line of business users needs.

The strategy should also align with business objectives, not just what IT wants or needs. A smartwatch, for example, may bring efficiency by alerting employees to emails, calendar alerts and phone calls much faster than users having to log in and check their emails.

Don't view new tech coming into the organization as a threat.

Set a policy about how to bring in new technology that end users can refer to. This allows IT and end users to work cooperatively. It also tells users how and why certain things are necessary for deployment.

Don't lose faith in the tech

Don't view new tech coming into the organization as a threat. IT needs to embrace new technology, as it could be very useful, while remembering to make management aware of the costs and security risks associated with it. The more advanced data the emerging tech deals with, the more careful companies have to be. IT can create a geolocation tag for corporate data access to help minimize security risks from wearables, smartwatches, VR or drones, for instance.

Customizing these steps to the company's specific needs will go a long way to make a smooth transition as organizations deploy the latest and greatest business technology.

Next Steps

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This was last published in June 2017

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