The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has 3,000 mobile devices that are corporate-owned and managed. The devices are used by approximately half of the company's 7,000 U.S.-based workers. While BlackBerry smartphones are the primary mobile devices deployed, other mobile gadgets in use include wireless air cards and cell phones.
For the most part, the devices are used for access to corporate e-mail and calendaring applications, says Chubb's CISO Don Garvey. He anticipates a broad shift away from the company-owned devices to a model in which employees bring their own personal wireless devices to work to potentially access a much wider range of business applications.
Corky Valenti, Chubb's IT communications manager, adds: "We're beginning to talk about the concept of any-time, anyplace computing that is independent of the office, that can be independent of corporate-owned devices, so we can get to some level of flexibility in the future."
Selling these concepts throughout the enterprise isn't going to be a challenge. "Most CIOs have probably already realized they're not going to need to sell these ideas at all," says Garvey. "They're pretty vital. [And this] is happening in the upper levels of the executive suite. Once word gets out that you can connect those devices and access e-mail, I don't think there's going to be much to sell. [But the] procedures and policies must be in place."
Since 2008, Chubb has used Rivermine--an on-demand solutions provider that manages organizations' mobile life-cycle expenses--to handle the procurement of all corporate cell phones and mobile devices, as well as voice/data plans, for its employees. Chubb also utilizes Rivermine for wireless help-desk services, giving employees 24/7 access to wireless-device experts for requests ranging from technical troubleshooting and remote data wipes for lost and stolen devices to overnight device replacement orders.
Want more on this topic? Read the feature article Mobility's Rise in the Enterprise.