May 282012
 

BYOD – bring your own device – the latest topic of discussion in mobile telecoms and digital/online security. The idea is simply that your employees want to be able to access business systems from their own mobile devices i.e. smart phones, mini-laptops and tablet devices. Most commonly of course this means email, but it also means business related social networking like linkedIn and twitter, and some also use Facebook in a work context. Of course all these horizontal business services are widely catered for on all flavours of smart phone and other mobile devices. There are security issues here to be considered however. There is a wealth of writing in this area, which I shall not repeat, other than to say sensible passwords, individual user accounts, high quality email anti-spam/anti-virus and responsible and well trained employees are all essential, but maybe not sufficient, pre-requisites. The inclusion of training in this list is not an incidental thought. Today, everyone must have a good understanding of IT in order to use it safely and responsibly within your organisation. ‘I don’t understand all this IT, I’m not a techie’ is not a helpful attitude when the job requires the constant use of sophisticated IT systems. Everyone needs appropriate and current IT training these days.

More challengingly, your workers also want to access systems related to your specific technology vertical. They want to access the reservations system to report on bookings during a weekend promotion. They want to tweak pricing or maybe check on a supplier interaction or last minute flight availability. They may see a negative tweet about your web site and need to adjust the wording. In short, they want to do pretty much everything they can do from their desk whilst they are on the move, or at home watching the TV.

Online, your business is now 24*7*365, even if your call centre is only open 60 hours a week. Well motivated staff may want to monitor, fix or tweak stuff out of office hours, and by providing the right technology, the tour operator gets happy staff, and more productivity. 

Whilst many tour ops are only now starting to think about remote working (i.e. from a home office), the world is moving on and mobile working is becoming commonplace. Tour operators and technology suppliers within travel need to step up to this opportunity.

Rob Wortham

May 2012

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