Mobile Device Management in the Finance Sector and Millennial Employees: Keeping Everybody Happy
Oct 01, 2020
Millennials love their smart tools and mobile devices. They use them for work, to manage their money and to share (often way too much) personal information with their friends on social media. For banks and financial services businesses that employ Millennials, that combination of work and play can be a complex one. Employees who use their mobiles to access sensitive customer data or corporate assets, while at the same time downloading vulnerable apps or otherwise exposing their information, can compromise data security, as well as efforts to recruit and retain recent college graduates seeking to enter this job market.
Finance firms have often mandated the use of company-issued mobile devices. This simplifies expense management and control over the barrier between an employee’s professional and personal activity. The problem with this approach is that the inconvenience of managing two devices risks alienating Millennial employees. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, meanwhile, are more likely to appeal to Millennials, but can be more difficult to manage, particularly from a security perspective.
But should employers care? Evidence suggests that they should. According to a survey conducted by HR consultancy Robert Walters Group, 67 percent of Millennials view technology as the greatest source of intergenerational conflict in the workplace. Moreover, 38 percent feel that employers should actively encourage workers to incorporate social media into their work, compared to 24 percent of Generation X and 10 percent of Baby Boomers. In other words, Millennials do have strong attitudes about technology policies in the workplace. Given that banks are aggressively competing to attract, hire and retain young talent, accommodating those attitudes makes sense. And while basic business and security requirements should be the top priority, a Mobile Device Management (MDM) policy that appeals to tech-savvy young people can provide a critical value-add in terms of recruitment.
An MDM policy tailored to the specific needs of different business units and different organizational roles is imperative. This requires defining a variety of personas based on function (sales, customer service, finance) and hierarchy (C-level, director and staff). Device functionality can then be aligned to the roles and responsibilities of each persona.
Within a brokerage, for example, traders need specialized apps with additional security features. Salespeople negotiating global deals need unlimited geographic reach and minutes. Marketers need to manage social media activity. The objective is to equip each employee’s device with the features and functionality required to do a particular job, while avoiding paying for licenses and support for specialized applications that are never used.
Once personas and required features and functionalities are defined, MDM tools can program each device as needed. Firewalls that separate work activity from personal texts and social media activity, and encryption that protect sensitive corporate assets, can effectively address security concerns traditionally associated with BYOD policies. Processes and tools around disabling devices that are lost and stolen can similarly be assigned. Analytics around expense management can drive cost savings and provide additional insight into refining persona requirements.
IT as a Strategic Partner
To achieve this level of segmentation and tailored functionality, IT teams need to work closely with all business units within the organization to gain a deep understanding of user requirements. Through ongoing collaboration with sales, marketing, HR and finance teams, the IT function can establish itself as a strategic partner to the business, delivering customer-focused solutions aligned to specific requirements of the business, as well as specific preferences of individual users.
In this context, segmented and tailored MDM policies are a good example of the broader evolution of IT beyond its traditional role as an isolated service center providing a one-size-fits-all, take-it-or-leave-it offering. It’s pretty basic: to make users or customers happy, you have to understand what they want.
This use case provides additional detail around the features and benefits of MDM.