BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is all about a trend that affords employees the luxury of hand picking the devices they prefer to work within workplaces. Talk of the rise in the number of mobile devices with exceptional computing capabilities. No wonder this trend has picked up and it is no longer the privilege of early adopters. In fact, it is expected that by the year 2017, around 50% of employers will allow employee’s own device at workplace. The advantages are there to be seen among businesses, which adopt this trend in that there is improved productivity, satisfaction and reduced costs that have in turn translated into profits.
Enough of juicy stuff and let us take another angle to this trend. The real hurdle has to be the problems associated with BYOD movement-CIOs, software architects, users, software sellers, developers and cloud service providers actually work round the clock to jump over these hurdles. So, what is the secret to implementing a successful BYOD program? Well, this article introduces you to the core practices towards a proper BYOD in place.
- Define Your Goals
Ask yourself, why do you need a BYOD program in your company? What benefits will it bring? Will it get the jobs around done faster? Will costs be reduced and profits increased? Having asked, answered theses question and established that you really do need the program, outline what it is that needs to be done to efficiently start and run the program. BYOD is a program that has to be based on set policies and guidelines to avoid risks that come with the trend.
- Establish Who to allow and what devices to allow
It is also important to define clearly what devices to allow and who are to be allowed to bring their own devices. There should be a limit to the number of devices allowed for each person to bring at work. It is also vital to remember that there are various operating systems in smart phones and computers such as apple, android, Linux and windows and everyone has a preference. This can come in handy when filtering the devices to allow in a BYOD environment.
- Educate Your Users
Introducing BYOD might mean that the company has an application or software specifically designed to facilitate the program. Such applications may include tools bespoke designed for the company or perhaps third party applications. The application(s) will work best if the employees are taught on how to go about it and report issues through the properly designed channels.
- Provide Proper End user support – management and monitoring
The advantage of BYOD is that the cost of purchasing new equipment is reduced and the burden of the IT department of checking up on the devices is reduced. Of course, it is expected that the owner of the device is responsible for the device. This said proper policies and infrastructure have to be put in place just in case the device or the applications malfunction. A proper end user support infrastructure will help solve such issues thus smoothing the BYOD program.
It is also necessary to manage and monitor user access through ways that do not infringe on the privacy of users. Access policies should be stipulated and proper action should be taken on users that violate the policies. As an example, a company should prohibit access to selected sites and ensure that users do not share company data with people outside the company. The best way to achieve this is for the IT department to set principles on how to monitor what each individual does when on their devices to reduce risks. The beauty is, there are a number of powerful tools in the market that makes this easy for you.
- Keep Security in Mind
Protection of data in both company-owned and personal devices is quite colossal especially with the ever-escalating number of cyber attacks. There are a number methods used to ensure data security and security of devices in use within the organization. Two of the key ones are setting up firewalls and remote data wiping of mobile devices. One main cyber threat to companies around the globe arises from user access to malicious sites and downloading of content that may contain malicious content. Firewalls come in handy in such scenarios in that they limit individual access to commonly known untrustworthy sites on the internet. Encryption and access control on the devices will ensure proper security measures are followed. Another example of a BYOD threat occurs when an employee leaves the company and carries along important data in their devices. The same danger is posed when an employee loses a device with the company data in it. The solution to these is to wipe the device remotely and reduce the chances of the data landing into the wrong hands.
Another simple but advisable way to protect your data is to add an authentication layer to your systems. In other words, only those with login credentials should be allowed to access certain parts of your systems. The username and especially password should be updated from time to time and privilege levels of the users audited frequently. This way, you will ascertain authentication on anyone trying to access the company from within or outside the company.
There is no denying about the advantages that BYOD is bringing to small, medium and large companies around the globe. The factors of production are being trimmed thanks to the growth of technology and it is bound to get even better with time. To reap full benefits from this trend, though, it is more about having a proper strategy than having the right tools. As usual, the speed of technology means that a BYOD program that is superb today might not be that good tomorrow. Let us just say, in BYOD a company has to keep up the pace with solutions in the market in a bid to implement an up to data program!
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