The freedom for users to bring their own devices to work and use non-company commissioned file sharing services comes at a huge cost to organizations. harmon.ie recently published an eye-opening report on their blog that reveals just how much mobile “rogue IT” is costing companies in the United States (rogue IT is described as a phenomenon that occurs when workers circumvent organizational controls by exploiting unsanctioned IT resources that are outside the supervision of corporate IT).

The figures are astounding, translating into nearly 15 million users who have used unsanctioned services; and when adding in the costs to remedy data leakage by users who are using unsanctioned services, it totals over $1.8 billion wasted by U.S. companies.

To help mitigate these risks, harmon.ie has today announced that they have partnered with the leading MDM and mobile security vendors AirWatch, Citrix, Good Technology, MobileIron, and Samsung KNOX to bring secure Office 365 and on-premises SharePoint solutions to iOS, Blackberry 10, and now Android, with Windows Mobile coming soon.

harmon.ie for Android

In tandem with the partnership announcement, harmon.ie has also just released version 4.1 of their mobile solution that supports Android devices.  I got the opportunity to Beta test the software using a Samsung Galaxy S3.

With the version 4.1 release have come some changes to the iOS and Blackberry interface as well, in order to maintain consistency across all devices.  They all now feature a List menu (list icon in upper left corner), an Actions menu (3 vertical dots in upper right corner), and a Breadcrumbs menu (curved up arrow in lower left corner).

The List menu will remain consistent throughout the application.

The Actions menu will change to offer actions that are only relevant to where you are at within the application.

And the Breadcrumbs will let you know where you are at any time in relation to the SharePoint site collection that you are currently connected to.

The following screen shows the contents of a document library.

After navigating to the document you wish to edit, you can click on the document to view all the properties.  You can easily see who created and last modified the document, whether it’s checked out, and other metadata about the document.

Clicking on the document icon with the arrow, you will have the option of which program to use to open up your document.  You will need to download Documents to Go if your device doesn’t already have it installed.  Note that you need the paid version in order to actually edit documents on your Android.  The free version will allow you to view the documents only.  Since this is an Excel file, you will see a Sheet to Go icon (if it were a Word document, you would see a Word to Go icon).

Once you’ve made changes to your document, you will need to first save the document to your device. Then, you will actually have to save it back to harmon.ie by clicking File then Send from the Actions menu, and choosing harmon.ie from the list (this extra step to save a document back to SharePoint is a limitation of the Android operating system). Selecting Update Document after the verification process is complete will update your changes to SharePoint.

Like with harmon.ie’s other mobile apps, you can also browse and search for people within the organization directly from the mobile device.

Clicking through on a person’s listing will take you to their profile page, where you can immediately see more information about that person.

Clicking the Action icon will give you options you can take relevant to this user, including emailing or calling them, and editing or removing them from your Colleagues list.

My Thoughts and Conclusion

My personal thoughts surrounding the practice of users accessing unsanctioned mobile and file sharing apps is that a lot of organizations don’t fully understand the risks they face if they continue to allow these rogue practices. harmon.ie is trying to help shed light on this issue through their survey and report on the subject. They also, of course, continue to provide secure access to sensitive information in their mobile solutions and have strengthened this resolve by partnering with some of the top mobile device and security management vendors in the space. All the while they are keeping with their mantra of allowing the user to work in the manner that they are used to working, instead of forcing them to learn a whole new system or process.

If your organization is worried about data leakage and the consequences that can come with that, then I would definitely recommend giving harmon.ie a look.

To learn more about harmon.ie 4.1 for Android, please go to harmon.ie’s website.

Product review is sponsored by harmon.ie, but opinions are my own
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