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Your Cheat Sheet for BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device)

Written by Steven Faught | Find me on:

Your Cheat Sheet for BYOD

The Bring Your Own Device trend has significantly grown since it started a few years back. A driving force for companies switching to BYOD is the opportunity to save on costs, but that has been proven untrue as adopting the program will require business to integrate a system that supports the multiple platforms.

However, companies who have successfully implemented BYOD have experienced a surge in productivity and morale as according to a study done by ReadWrite and Intel. This alone may offset the program costs.

There are many guides available for companies looking into embracing BYOD as a standard practice. We’ve listed the most important aspects of transitioning to BYOD that many of the guides mirror.

1. Get familiar with the challenges

According to a study by Frost & Sullivan the top enterprise IT challenges for enterprise mobility management are:

  • Protecting investments in existing IT systems - such as Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE)
  • Controlling cost of enterprise mobility
  • Ensuring compliance with industry regulations
  • Managing device OS and form factor fragmentation
  • Delivering enhanced security for sensitive corporate data
  • Protecting corporate network from malicious mobile applications
  • Preventing corporate data from being uploaded in the public cloud
  • Ensuring user privacy without compromising enterprise security

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to arming IT departments in transitioning to the BYOD practice. Knowing what the possible issues are will help you plan ahead and keep your IT guys from going mental.

2. Writing a BYOD Policy
A BYOD policy is vital for its success. This will guide your users to work with their own devices in accordance to the business practices. Here are 7 quick tips in writing a BYOD policy.

  • Learn from others: There are BYOD policy templates and samples available online. Get ideas from them and mould it to cater to your requirements.
  • Check with your IT department
    Determine what your IT department is capable of in terms of device / hardware support.
    Go over your current security policies for web applications with your IT team and what policies will be affected if you push the BOYD program.
    Be clear and set expectations
    Write for every employee participating in the BYOD program. Assume your users are not well versed in tech talk, write in a fashion that is easily understood.
    Review available apps that cater to your work requirements.
    Make a list of apps that are allowed and another for banned apps. Keep in mind that your list for banned apps will grow over time.
    Synchronize your BYOD policy with your MDM policies.
    If your MDM solution allows you to write specific rules for registration, security, data sharing, and user removal make sure that your policy coincides with these.
    Consult an expert
    If possible get an external security or BYOD program advisor to go through your policy to check for loopholes. If you are new to the BYOD practice, chances are there are items / issues you might have missed.
  • Provide training to users
    To ensure your users understand your BYOD policy set time for training and Q&A.

3. MDM on BYOD
Companies look into Mobile Device Management as a means to address mobility challenges by managing all devices from a central administration control.

Here are the top 5 things you should look for in an MDM solution:
1. Mobile platform support - it should be able to support the (multiple) platforms your devices are on.
2. Central management - the goal of an MDM solution is to unify management and have control of all devices under the BYOD. Your MDM should allow you to add (register) devices, monitor usage, and remove users.
3. Secure Access - Security cannot be stressed enough. Most MDM solutions are able to enforce passcodes and data encryption, as well as allow you to select what content and resources should be available to whom.
4. Data Collection Management - it should allow you to prevent data collection from personal email, or applications on devices.
5. Options for Clean Up - in the event that a device becomes compromised or when an employee exits the company, your MDM solution should allow you to wipe clean the device of corporate content.

4. Test and Adjust
BYOD is not a new trend and it has been successfully implemented by companies worldwide, but there is no one-right-way to do it. Any company, institution, or organization considering the switch to BYOD should start with a test program. Experiment with a select group of people from different departments to see if it fits the work requirements and responsibilities.
Several MDM solutions are offering free trials like MobileIron, MaaS360, and AirWatch to name a few.
Running a test program will not only help you foresee what issues may arise but it will also give you users who can help train and guide the rest of the participants.

Topics: Meeting Room Tips , BYOD

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