With the take-up of wireless devices rapidly spreading, Toshiba, in partnership with the Institute of Directors (IoD), has published a number of guidelines for firms to follow when rolling out mobile systems.
The pair surveyed IoD members and found that almost 90% of respondents have already invested in wireless computing, or will be investing in it in the near future.
The six basic guidelines include assessment, planning, implementation, education and training, security and support.
To assess wireless investment firms should consider productivity, flexible working and home working. If all or any of these areas offer gains via wireless to the business, wireless working is worth it.
With investment, too many companies are tempted to buy the latest devices. Instead, tailor the devices to specific functions – basic computing only needs PDAs (personal digital assistants), more powerful applications need laptops, for instance.
A successful implementation is only part of the jigsaw. Firms need to form wireless policies, to give guidance as to when the technology should be used – anytime/anywhere technology can lead to users believing they are expected to be working all the time. The work/life balance must be right.
Users must be educated in how to use the solutions to the best advantage. Too many firms issue kit and then expect users to get on with it – they must offer good training tailored for each user according to ability.
To secure a wireless network, companies must implement both a virtual private network and a firewall to protect mobile links.
And comprehensive support from IT staff is essential. They must all be trained in both WiFi and Bluetooth networking skills, among others, otherwise external support must be brought in.
This article was part of Computer Weekly's enterprise mobile business channel, sponsored by Nokia