With the continuing rise of mobile working, the traditional corporate Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) needs a serious upgrade

Mobilizing your enterprise is done with the best of intentions; to improve flexibility, efficiency, collaboration and responsiveness in ways that hone our competitive edge. Abuse of devices and mobile subscriptions, however, is on the rise – driving up company data bills and creating headaches for HR managers who have to take disciplinary action for the most egregious abuses.

An absolute must for avoiding hassles and keeping your mobility investments in the black is an up-to-date Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). An AUP is a set of rules applied by the owner of mobile devices and other computing resources that define the ways in which the device or network can be used. It takes the form of an agreement that staff must sign up to, and outlines how the organization expects employees to behave with technology.
The legal and reputational risks associated with misuse of corporate computing resources have been recognized for years, and AUPs are a well-established tool for risk mitigation. The expansion of mobile working, however, adds a new twist that policies designed when mobile meant laptops, cell phones and old school Blackberries, don’t cover.
Powerful smartphones, the rise of tablets, faster cellular networks, operating systems that update automatically and the popularity of apps are all driving corporate mobile data costs through the roof. So in addition to the things we know to be standard in traditional AUPs, such as bans on pornography, harassment, abuse and hate speech; defining the line between personal and professional use of mobile data is now becoming a requirement for many organizations.
For example, does your current AUP clarify which mobile apps are suitable for work and which are not? YouTube and mobile video in general account for a massive amount of mobile data consumption and the monthly ‘bill shock’ suffered by mobility managers. For someone in marketing, access to YouTube might be a work requirement. For someone in the finance department, access to YouTube when on the move is probably less of a requirement. The company AUP needs to consider your current business practices, how you communicate with customers and stakeholders, and the requirements of individual job roles.
It’s that kind of analysis that managers need to undertake in order to craft a modern AUP, one that, in addition to addressing behavior that the company consider inappropriate, will keep data costs down and ensure that the productivity benefits of going mobile are sustained.