3 Seamless Ways To Start Using BYOD At Your Company
Bring Your Own Device or BYOD programs are the trend of the future and you don’t want your company to get left behind. Gartner predicts that more than half of U.S. employers will have adopted BYOD by 2017.
Employees want BYOD and employers are seeing the cost-saving benefits in accommodating them.
And accommodate them they should, as BYOD can even promote stronger employee loyalty to a company.
Here’s how to implement a solid BYOD program in your own business.
1. Improve Security With an Apps Policy
Security is the biggest issue with most employers when it comes to BYOD and apps are a big part of that concern.
Because sensitive and often proprietary company information is held on employee devices used in BYOD, some companies ban the downloading of certain apps.
Some apps are banned because they make it too easy for employees to inadvertently share proprietary company information with unauthorized people.
The Facebook app is a good example of this kind of app. Other apps are simply more prone to hackers or may make private information public through lax security controls.
Dropbox and other Cloud-based apps are good examples of apps that fall into this area of concern.
Other apps may be banned simply because they are time-wasters and inappropriate for work use. Entertainment apps like Netflix and Angry Birds are examples of time-wasting apps that can cut into employee productivity, according to inc.com.
While it may be difficult to prevent employees from downloading certain apps while away from work, access to them can be disabled from the company’s network or Wi-Fi.
Companies can get around the app issue by creating their own private app stores where employees can download company-approved apps from a variety of programmers.
They can also whitelist recommended apps and direct employees to them. This gives company managers a better sense of security over the use of apps in BYOD, according to techrepublic.com.
2. Make Sure IT Has Some Control Over Employee Devices
Password management is an important part of BYOD. Employers must mandate some kind of password policy to ensure company information cannot be easily accessed if the device should be lost or stolen.
IT departments can either set passwords for employees or they can create their own uncrackable ones under the direction of the IT department. The IT department must also have access to all employee passwords for security reasons.
The IT department should also have remote control over employee devices. This would not be used all the time, only if a device is lost or stolen. The IT department would be able to remotely wipe all data from the phone regardless of its location.
There are a number of different software packages that do this and many come with GPS so the phone can be located before its data is wiped.
3. Decide on What Devices Will Be Allowed
Many companies allow employees to bring in any type of device they want and use it for work.
Companies that do this tend to have a professional BYOD management package that allows them to adapt their security protocols and company software to any phone.
Other companies only allow one type of device to be used. In this case, it’s usually a Blackberry, as they are very business-friendly. It’s all up to what management feels comfortable with doing.
However, studies show that employees are happier when they can use the device of their choice.
Infographic: BYOD By the Numbers
The infographic from readwrite.com and Intel shows that 74% of IT leaders believe that BYOD can help employees be more productive.
The Meta trend is crystal clear: Consumers really love their mobile phones. Mobile is their next gateway, their first screen and their second brain.
So with over 4 billion mobile phones on this planet – more than the 3.5 billion toothbrushes – I trust you can do the BYOD math yourself.
As you have seen by the numbers in the infographic the BYOD trend is popular. And growing.
No matter where in the world they are, people are using their own smartphones on the job.
And thus more and more companies are making significant technology investments to implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, despite challenges related to security, governance and sometimes even politics.
So BYOD is a fringe benefit for companies. And perhaps even much more than secondary?
For companies targeting Generation-Y (Millennials, born 1977-1994) and Generation-Z (born 1995-2012) BYOD might even be part of their primary conditions of employment.
So I suggest you skate to where the puck is going to be. Not where it has been.
What About You?
How do you feel about BYOD at your company? Sure thing or might take another decade? Let us know in the comments below.
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About the Author
Igor Beuker is a serial entrepreneur, acclaimed trendwatcher & speaker, marketing consultant and advisory board member at several disruptive media, technology and entertainment firms. Book Igor as keynote speaker, follow Igor on Twitter or contact him via LinkedIn.