Top 5 BYOD Field Service Mobility Pointers For The Enterprise

Posted by Michael Runshe

Tue, Aug 06, 2013

BYOD workforce mobility softwareA survey released in April of 2013 illustrated that more than six out of ten businesses allow or mandate the use of employee-owned devices at work. BYOD is the way of the future as iPad, tablets and smartphones saturate the marketplace.

You can love them or you can hate them but either way, this trend is here to stay. The key to making BYOD work for your enterprise starts with properly managing how employees use their devices at work.

Here are 5 BYOD workforce management solutions, sure to contribute to field service optimization and help protect company-owned information.

1. Create a Policy

Because mobile devices have become such a part of everyday life, there isn’t much point in trying to ban their existence in the workplace. In fact, with the right policy, BYOD can increase productivity and save company money. But when it comes to company-owned information and the countless distractions mobile devices can contribute, a strong policy specific to your service industry is essential to BYOD success.

A. Form a team derived from all levels of the company. Assign BYOD research topics and send the team out to collect information that can be useful when determining how BYOD can coexist with workforce management software and practices.

B. Ask the right questions of your team. Which security tools will work best for the company needs? Is additional IT support required? Which apps should be blacklisted and which are acceptable?

C. Draft the policy using the following key points:

  • Acceptable usage

  • Outline of devices

  • Reimbursement options

  • Security plan

  • Liability and disclaimers

2. Know your Apps

The beauty of the mobile device revolution lies within the countless tools available, literally at your employee’s fingertips. But with this level of accessibility, employees also inherit countless distractions. Know which apps will help drive field service optimization and which will only hinder.

BYOD Friendly Apps might include:

  • SpiderOak – Data syncing tool

  • Divide – Securely separate personal & business data

  • TrueCrypt – For encrypted data storage

  • Keepass – For password storage

  • LibreOffice – In place of Microsoft Office

Blacklisted BYOD Apps might include:

  • Angry Birds

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • YouTube

  • Google Play

  • Dropbox

  • Skype

  • Evernote

 

3. Know Your Network  (and who is using it)

At the very root of BYOD management is awareness. BYOD policy makers should regularly review the details of their company network. Know the components that make up the company network like email, VPN or intranet applications. Make sure all active accounts are connected to current employees, not former or contract employees and be wary of red flag indications like a high volume of login failures.

4. Respect Employee Privacy

It is important to remember that, while devices are used for business from 9 to 5, they are still personal, and as such, require being managed with a level of care that does not infringe on employee privacy. From a business standpoint, device usage needs to be on board with protecting company information and cannot hinder productivity. From a personal standpoint, an employer should never access personal information, such as GPS locations or private email or text messages. Finding a balance is essential to the success of BYOD.

Most device management software systems will require complete access to the employee’s device. If employees are uncomfortable with this, less aggressive forms of device management do exist, like mobile device auditing tools in place of device management software systems, which only access key areas of an employee’s device.

5. Have a Breach in Data Plan of Action

Protecting company-owned information is a critical priority among companies who choose to embrace BYOD, but its necessary to accept that there is no such thing as bulletproof when it comes to BYOD security. For this reason, a plan of action must be established in the event that company information is wrongfully accessed.

  • Know who to call to report a breach

  • Define immediate configuration changes that can be made to protect unaffected areas of operation

  • Recognize any forensic action you may be able to take

The key to success with BYOD integration is through proper planning and implementation. By following these 5 BYOD pointers, field service industries can tactfully transition into this device driven trend, greatly decrease security risks and increase field service optimization. Follow the game plan -- create a policy, know your apps and your network, respect employee privacy and have a back-up plan, just in case.

Image Credit: Siemens

Tags: Field Service Management for Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility