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Mobile backup strategies becoming a challenge for companies

Tara Charles
August 1, 2012

Having a mobile backup plan is no longer optional for businesses. Mobile device use has become pervasive and a lost or stolen mobile device can have the same impact, from a data loss perspective, as a data center problem. However, InformationWeek reported that many mobile devices are not adequately supported in this area because the backup solutions built for traditional desktop PCs do not work well when converted for mobile operating systems.

Because traditional backup solutions do not work with mobile devices, organizations have to find an alternative backup strategy for preserving data handled by smartphone and tablet users. An InformationWeek Reports study found that approximately 86 percent of respondents are either allowing employees to use their personal devices for work or will do so fairly soon. Furthermore, many organizations are still handing out corporate-liable devices for certain workers. As a result, organizations have to find a way to develop backup plans that not only function on company systems, but also work with personal devices and avoid infringing on employee rights.

Independent consultant Michael Finneran told the news source that many businesses struggle with mobile device management because they attempt to develop separate architectures for employee-owned and corporate-liable devices. However, having a diverse range of policies and procedures is actually problematic. The overarching goal of any mobile device management strategy, whether for backup or other functions, is to give companies the level of control they need over smartphones and tablets. To differentiate on a policy level only erodes that control and makes devices more difficult to manage.

"Our job is to make sure mobile users get access to the stuff they need securely, regardless of who owns the phone," Finneran told InformationWeek. "What level of security is required is defined by the organization, Ö and what users get access to is defined by their role."

The challenge when dealing with mobile backup and other smartphone and tablet management strategies is that there are always multiple technologies at work. Mobile devices are often the platform employees use to access the cloud and social media. As a result, businesses need to support these devices with solutions that help streamline interaction between such diverse technical systems. In many cases, business process management is the best option for companies, as it allows them to unify strategies across mobile, social and cloud systems.