Thinking before you deploy tablets for your business!

The influx of the tablet computer and the number of businesses and organisations who are going to deploy them is way too numerous to count.  To deploy a tablet environment there are a number of items that you need to put in perspective before they become a viable component of your business infrastructure.

Here are a list of items that need to be addressed when deploying tablets in your organisation.

Plan – the implementation of tablet needs a decent project plan to ensure that the deployment is a success.   Like most plans, they evaporate when it comes to the implementation but at least you know where it failed and you can get it back on track.   The plan should also include the roll out, test and documentation times as well,as what your organisation is trying to achieve.

Food chain – they will not do everything that a computer does.  The implementation of tablet will do a lot of things for an organisation.   They will NOT do everything that a laptop or desktop can do.  For some things the tablet is great, for others it is a total failure.   If you are looking for a precision system for graphics then do not expect the tablet to fill the position.   If you want to be able to write blogs, read and answer email and keep you organised then it will do that.

Expecting the business apps to be available – the implementation of business apps for your business may not be available for you to use.   Some of the apps that will fill your capability requirements are already available, but others may not be available for a number of months if ever.   Sometimes it maybe better to create your own apps to suit your requirements but this in another problem that your organisation will need to look at.

Think through the costs because they are no cheaper in the end – at the moment the outright cost of a tablet is cheaper than a desktop or laptop but when you factor in the technical support, insurance, connections and applications they come out about the same.

Support – as mentioned the cost and caliber of technical support can be a cost centre that your organisation fails to factor in.   Some support costs could make the use of tablets an unviable business problem.

Security – this is probably one of the biggest problems of a tablet roll out.   The number of organisations who have had critical business information exposed is phenomenal.     The loss of a tablet in addition to the loss of the information held on the device as compared to the tablet having access to critical business information needs to be fully addressed in the planning stage.

One of the best ways to protect your organisation from the loss or theft of a tablet is to use RDP technology so that no information is held on the device and all information that is created is held inside the organisation.   You save your Intellectual Property (IP), do not loose any data through a theft and your data access is restricted.   If the tablet deployment is coupled with good auditing practices, two factor authentication and some level of management then your data is as safe as your business environment.

This works well until you have to get on a plane.   Then it all goes out the window and information that you have created while disconnected from the internet is a problem but the moment you are reconnected then the information can be copied back to the secure network.

Now don’t get me wrong I love my tablet! I get more done on it than I do on my laptop, but I have deployed all of the above security practices to ensure that nothing is compromised if it is lost.

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.