Devising a BYOD Strategy

Posted by Michael Runshe

Fri, Jan 18, 2013

Devising a BYOD StrategyThe trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is spreading like wildfire across the IT community. Businesses from all types of industries are eager to reap the benefits of reducing costs for distributing and maintaining mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptop computers.

However, the benefits of a BYOD strategy can be offset if there is too much flexibility. Allowing numerous devices without any minimum requirements can actually end up costing an enterprise more in maintenance and troubleshooting – while also putting the business at risk for security issues. It is best for the enterprise to develop and implement a BYOD strategy before things get too far out of control.

The following are some tips on developing a BYOD strategy to protect your business while realizing the benefits:

  • Centralized carrier choices – discounts can be negotiated to benefit employees as well as the business, plus carriers can be vetted to make sure they have certain levels of performance and security standards. Many large enterprises will negotiate with several key service providers in order to provide options to the employees while still controlling corporate access and data use.

  • Clearly defined corporate policies – while owned by the employee, use of the device for work purposes puts the company at risk. Without appropriate guidance employees can share information on social media that could harm the company or release business intelligence that should be kept confidential. Therefore policies should be established so that employees understand that their behavior and use of their device must abide by certain standards or the employee could be subject to disciplinary action.

  • Consider the apps – While the devices themselves are important, the apps that reside on the device can be even more harmful to a business. Authorized enterprise apps need a deployment strategy so that users have the latest authorized updates. Other apps could have imbedded viruses or other hazards which could jeopardize corporate systems. These apps should be carefully screened and restricted as much as possible.

  • Password maintenance – many personal mobile devices do not have a password in place, but enterprise devices should always have some level of password protection to properly protect access to corporate information.

  • Usage thresholds – some enterprises may consider having the ability to notify the user and managers when data usage thresholds are being reached. This can benefit the company as well as the employee, and provide an opportunity to further negotiate enterprise level discounts with telecommunications providers.

  • Minimum device requirements – a corporate IT department can be overwhelmed quickly with the proliferation of mobile devices and supporting so many different varieties. Instead, corporations should consider placing minimum device requirements for hardware, OS and apps to keep maintenance at a minimum and to insure more consistent performance.

  • Ongoing use management – employees and devices can come and go, so businesses should have a process in place to confirm that the device is being used for business purposes and easily remove devices that cannot be confirmed.

A BYOD strategy can save your company a significant amount of expense as long as the right approach is used to make sure your business is properly protected.

Tags: Enterprise Mobility, Field service management software, Workforce Management Tips, Mobile Workforce Management