BYOD: Bring Your Own Disaster?

Bring your own device policies have found their way into corporations, schools and countless businesses, whether the IT department recommends it or not. With corporations wanting to save money on device deployment, putting the burden on employees makes perfect sense. However, it also brings about a bevy of issues, ranging from compatibility to security. With intelligent bring your own device policies, you can avoid BYOD becoming bring your own disaster. Fifty-three percent of businesses have already adopted it officially, according to TrackVia.

Mobile Worker

Photo by mikecogh/Flickr

Establish a Baseline

If you don’t establish a technology baseline for laptops, smartphones and tablets, your employees could bring in all manner of devices that aren’t remotely capable of running the needed business applications that your company uses. Chances are, you still have to deal with employees bringing in seven-year-old laptops and complaining that they can’t connect to the intranet. However, the amount of people trying to justify that they are in the right for that decision can’t stand up against company policy.

Train Best Practices

If your employees don’t know how to keep their devices safe at home, they won’t bother at work either. Take the employees through a training session teaching them how to secure laptops, smartphones and tablets against malicious scripts, viruses and other types of malware. Supply anti-virus and anti-theft applications for each device so you don’t have to worry as much about data theft or device loss. It might take some time to get everyone up to speed, but in the long run it will end up being worth it. It probably also promotes the safety of their home device use as well.

Mobile Device Management

A unified control panel makes it easier to administrate all of the devices on the business network. The best mobile device management applications operate from a single server and work with multiple mobile platforms, so you can have a platform agnostic approach to BYOD policies. This gives you a good level of control over the devices on your network, and some also allow you to create compartments to separate the personal side of the smartphones from the business side. An advantage with compartmentalization is the fact that the files from the personal side don’t interact with the business at all. You can use completely different apps, and in some cases completely different operating system versions. BlackBerry’s Enterprise Services has a good setup, even if you don’t use any BlackBerry phones. They’ve always been known in the business world for solid service, so it’s worth checking it out.

Create an Official Policy

You can attempt to change the work culture regarding BYOD, but if you don’t have an official policy in place, you aren’t going to be able to keep it effective. CMS Wire recommends making a policy implementation top priority out of anything you do regarding BYOD. Talk with management and make sure that they are on board with your plan and ready to support you in your BYOD crusade. The policy needs to cover most of the situations that you run into on a day to day basis, so you aren’t left battling issues that crop up because you don’t have a comprehensive enough policy.