7 Steps to Help You Get the Most from BYOD
Users are bringing their personal mobile devices to the workplace – and that might seem like a blessing to a small to midsize business (SMB). And it can be. A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy can increase productivity and flexibility while enabling workers to use the devices they’re most familiar with. Plus, the company doesn’t have to purchase the technology.
But BYOD can also be fraught with pitfalls for the unwary. Most companies have designed their IT infrastructure to support desktops. Many policies and procedures have been thoroughly planned and implemented – but few of these older policies account for the requirements of employees’ personally owned mobile devices.
Security is a primary concern with any BYOD initiative. When employees are accessing and storing data on their mobile devices, your company’s sensitive information is at risk. Mobile devices can easily be lost or stolen, and an unsecure device can introduce malware that compromises your entire network.
By following these seven steps you can develop a BYOD strategy that covers the main areas of concern:
Create a Robust BYOD Policy. A clear and concise policy is the key element to making your BYOD strategy work. At minimum, the policy should outline the security measures that are required for each device, the applications and services that employees are allowed (and not allowed) to access, and regulatory compliance requirements. Each user should be required to sign an agreement that states all of the responsibilities of your company and the user.
Determine Which Devices to Support. There are a large number of devices on the market today, and new devices come out every few months. Your IT department will be unable to keep up if you don’t plan to limit the kinds of devices that will be supported. Knowing the devices and their capabilities should be the starting point for any BYOD strategy.
Consider Implementing a Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solution. An MDM solution will automate the enforcement of your BYOD policies. It should set boundaries on what types of applications to allow, and provide reporting and monitoring tools. The solution should also include the ability to erase or “wipe” sensitive data from the device if the device is lost or stolen.
Secure the User’s Personal Data. It’s a good idea to protect the personal data of your users as well as sensitive company information. Personally identifiable information (PII) can be used to gain access to the device, which can compromise both user data and company data. It will also give your users peace of mind knowing what personal data you will access and what is off limits.
Segregate Corporate and Personal Data. Users will appreciate a policy that doesn’t touch their personal data. Your IT department will have less data to wipe from the device if the user leaves the company or if the device is lost or stolen.
Keep an Eye on Data Usage. Whether you decide to pay all, part or none of the user’s data plan, you should track usage to help keep a lid on costs.
Monitor the Devices Remotely. Remote monitoring enables IT staff to keep security measures up to date, enforce policies and remotely wipe corporate data from the device if necessary.
BYOD can offer real business benefits if implemented correctly. Let the experts at ICG help you define your BYOD strategy and provide the support users need to maximize productivity.