BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is not a truly straightforward strategy to implement since it has within it many variables that are likely to be out of your control, something that may be intimidating for any business owner. As they say, if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Ensure that you have a policy in place for the unforeseen moments and integrate it well with any current policies you have implemented. Take a look at some of the tips one can take into consideration when taking on a BYOD campaign.
Employee choice and needs
Allow employees to choose the tools and applications that they feel most comfortable and productive with. If an application is forced onto an employee they may feel like they cannot master it as it is out of their skill level. Others may flourish because it is more complex whilst leaving others behind. Also take into consideration a particular employee’s role in the company and their job title. If one goes according to this you will know which applications are suitable as the needs of the employee and their data usage will guide you. You cannot give an employee in the IT department an extremely simplified application as they will feel demotivated by the lack of challenge and lose productivity because of it. It is also gives a sense of lack of trust from the company about a person’s skill set.
Mobile application management support
When you choose a mobile application management (MAM) solution, ensure that it comes with complete application life cycle support. This means that all corporate applications are covered and their life cycle is covered from start to finish. Your MAM must also serve employees that are scattered geographically and it would be best to do so with a cloud-based system that can be accessed anytime (even during network downtime) as well as provide continual application updates. MAM must also monitor role-based access and the conduction of malware inspections, along with providing protected app stores.
Costs and ROI (return on investment)
BYOD is a campaign that has the potential to cut the costs attached to hardware, software and support. Despite this, BYOD has expenditures that are hidden and require monitoring. Some of these extra costs can include application store support costs, training and consulting. BYOD will increase productivity or at least change it so make sure that at the start of your campaign you take into consideration what the anticipated cost savings will be versus the real enterprise cost savings.
BYOD communication plan and policy
Once you start developing a BYOD plan make sure that your employees have a share in what is being discussed. BYOD is, after all, in large part dependent on employee participation and cooperation. Communicate with your employees on the ways in which you plan to manage personal devices, and the steps you are going to take to protect corporate data and applications on these devices. During this time also ask for employee feedback and input. Then show them how this will be utilized in the actual plan and policies. Reassure your employees that personal applications and content will remain untouched even if it also contains corporate information on it. Also provide access to both personal and work information on a single device.
Have a clear service policy
In order to use devices, whether they be from the corporation or the employee’s personal device, you naturally have to be able to fix these devices if they are to be broken or their security compromised. For this you need to lay out a clear service policy. To do this, ask yourself some critical questions. Some of these questions can be : “What support will internal IT give for broken devices?”, “Is there any support for applications that are installed on devices by the employee for personal use?” and “Will the company loan devices to employees if their usual devices are being serviced?” Then include these answers in the policy as per company regulations.
Be very clear about who owns what application and data. Naturally the company owns whatever information is brought onto the internal servers. Yet what happens when the device is stolen or lost, or when the employee is no longer in service? Often companies have policies in place to remotely wipe these devices to ensure no corporate data is leaked but what about all of the personal information that employees have kept on these? If it is a personal device used for work purposes as well it is unfair to remove all of the data without providing back-up or some form of compensation (even though this is not ideal as it is irreplaceable). Before such an issue crops up, ensure that you provide guidance about back-up and what happens in case any or all of these situations occur.
An acceptable use policy refers to a set of rules that regulate the ways in which the network, website or system may be used. This policy, in the case of BYOD, can then be expanded to include applications and devices. To set up this policy there must be an agreement as to what constitutes a true violation or what is not acceptable when using any corporate devices, applications, networks or systems. When an employee transmits inappropriate content over the company network via a personal device, what sanctions or punishments are to be employed? What are the monitoring strategies and tools that both management and employees are comfortable with? These are only two of the considerations that management needs to take into account.
Even though many employees may take stringent security policies as a hindrance to easy access it is important to impose measures to secure corporate data. Make use of elaborate passwords and lock screens (where possible) as these will make it even more difficult for those who want to access confidential information to do so. Strong security measures is even more important when personal devices are used to store and manage corporate data since these devices will contain applications that are used in a personal capacity and it may encroach on company safety. Security can also include placing a restriction on the type of application that can be installed on multi-use devices, what type of devices is allowed (seeing as each have unique security features to consider) and what happens to information when an employee leaves the company for whatever reason.