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   By Christopher Musico, Vice President, Global Communications, AvePoint

 Let’s be honest with ourselves: When it comes to workers using technology that wasn’t issued by the company on their first day on the job, it’s no longer a question of if that’s going to happen in your enterprise but a matter of when – if it hasn’t started already.

There’s plenty of evidence that points to this business reality – especially when it comes to IT workers. They’re already inclined to want to use the latest and greatest technologies, and have the skill set to learn and adopt them quickly.

This shift is taking place, and you’ve the choice to either embrace it or continue to bury your head in the sand, hoping it’ll go away. The problem with hoping it goes away is that it usually doesn’t, and it leads to other unforeseen repercussions. According to a recent Forrester Research study on data privacy and security, nearly half of all data breaches in 2013 were accidental in nature. So employees, just trying to do their jobs, mistakenly released data that they shouldn’t have – which can cost millions of dollars if not permanently destroy a company’s reputation.

Bearing this in mind, information must be ready to go and available at will for modern workers. As availability becomes the new standard for information in our personal lives, we now expect the same experience at work.

Is this easy? No, but here are the top six essentials you must address in order to be flexible, agile, and a business enabler rather than seen as a roadblock to productivity in the enterprise:

1. Integration: The solutions you choose should work seamlessly with your existing content management and other IT systems.

2. Usability: The tools you provide should feel like an extension of technology your employees already know how to use and designed to be fully accessible.

3. Productivity: Allowing work outside the office shouldn’t mean losing insight into performance.

4. Scalability: More users and more content shouldn’t mean a greater maintenance burden.

5. Security: Remote access shouldn’t mean letting go of control over your data.

6. Privacy: Sensitive data should still abide by boundaries dictated by corporate and industry policies.

By accounting for these six essentials, you’ll encourage an open yet secure culture. Employees will feel free to use the devices that they need to do their jobs most effectively, but on the same hand companies can rest assured that it’s most important information is secure. Organizations should trust their employees to do the right thing, but it’s equally important to have systems in place to verify that they are in fact doing the right thing. Trust and verify can help your business go a long way in juggling employee morale with company security.

By taking these essentials into account, you can regain control of your digital assets but still allow them to use devices with which they feel comfortable. By empowering your employees with remote access to the content they need, they’re less likely to look for various and sundry means of accomplishing their tasks – which oftentimes lead to IT governance and compliance issues.

There are solutions available from vendors to tackle this issue, as this is a growing trend – particularly as mobile technology has truly become an integral part of many of our lives, whether at home or at work. Look for integrated solutions that can help you enforce security measures and corporate policies, track progress and usage, and maintain data sovereignty.

This way, your employees have the ability to collaborate from anywhere on any device, and you can have the confidence of knowing this collaboration is safe and secure: the best of both worlds.