The downside of having multiple devices in a business environment

literary devices comic

Most employees only have one laptop in a business environment. Some are lucky enough to have two, but this isn’t always a benefit.

literary devices comic
literary devices comic

More isn’t always better. For people who have an iPhone, iPad, Laptop, or Desktop, things can get complicated pretty quickly. For example, the first problem with this setup is passwords. When you change your password and have multiple devices, it has to be changed on all devices quickly or you can get locked out of the network.

I deal with this problem every day. People change their password and don’t remember or can’t change it on their other devices fast enough before they get locked out. Eventually, some businesses decide to just exempt them from the password policy, and lock that password as permanently good. While this makes it easy for the user, it is a terrible security practice.

The second problem having multiple devices causes is data storage. While Exchange email can easily synchronize between different devices, most people who are at this level (executives and VIPs) have tons of mail. This means that those devices don’t always allow storage of all their email, and it becomes more problematic if they have PST. PST are files that are not synced by Exchange and only live on the computer where they are created. This means that potentially they won’t have access to all their emails, and this becomes a big problem in an emergency.

Office365 recognizes this and allows online storage of PST, which solves this problem. There are also third-party companies that offer this, but I have not worked with a company that has used that solution. They just tell users normally that those files aren’t available and to “deal with it.”

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The third problem in having multiple devices is that the applications used to work on those files differ a great deal in look and feel and functionality. While Microsoft has done an admirable job trying to slim down its office products for IOS (iPhone, iPad) use, other programs haven’t done as well. This requires some investment and training and ultimately slows down the users who have to remember and use different ways of accessing their information.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have multiple devices. It can have advantages too. However, without planning you may be creating more problems than you are solving.