WhatsApp at work: Companies grapple with a popular ad hoc tool

From ComputerWorld: Popular consumer technology often makes the jump from the personal to the professional. AOL Instant Messenger, the iPhone and Facebook, for example, started off as consumer apps and devices and quickly gained ground in the office.

More recently, WhatsApp, the messaging app now used by 1.5 billion people worldwide (and owned by Facebook) has been traveling that same path.

A recent survey from UK-based analyst firm CCS Insights indicates WhatsApp is the most widely-used mobile app in the workplace, more prevalent than mobile versions of team chat apps such as Slack and Microsoft Teams. “It is one of the most successful and popular apps out there and that will naturally bleed over into the enterprise,” said Nick McQuire, vice president for enterprise research at CCS Insights. The firsm surveyed 672 employees in the US and Europe.

For WhatsApp, the reasons behind its popularity are simple: It’s free, easy to use and familiar to a huge audience.

But popular apps aren't necessarily the most secure apps, and employees that side-step corporate-approved messaging software in favor of their preferred tools can create headaches for the IT department. By their nature, consumer apps lack central management capabilities such as the ability to add and remove participants from a group, and they raise the possibility of sensitive documents being shared externally.

View: Article @ Source Site