Today’s workforce prefers to use their own devices, and for employers and organizations, it’s a win-win, saving them time, labor and money. This evolutionary step in mobile technology enables corporations to boost productivity, increasing efficiency by streamlining operations. It’s no wonder workers in nearly 75 percent of companies are using their own devices for some level of tasking.
What to Consider When Launching Your BYOD Management Program
On the other side of the coin, BYOD presents a host of problems regarding the security of sensitive company data. Enter the BYOD management program, which, when implemented properly gives workers easy access to the data they need to get the job done without compromising important corporate information. The goals of the best BYOD or Mobile Device Management (MDM) programs are the following:
- To enable staff to acquire simple, yet secure access to company information.
- To lessen the workload of busy IT departments who are already busy managing and securing company data.
- To provide a level of flexibility to employees without exerting excessive control over their personal data and mobile device activity.
- To increase employee morale without compromising security and manageability
BYOD Management Challenges
Include the IT team in the production of your BYOD policies from the beginning, because they will need to monitor and maintain the program unless you hire an outside vendor. Start by answering the following questions:
- Applications: What apps will you forbid? Will you allow data sharing, IP scanning, Cloud storage or Dropbox?
- Agreements: What type of Acceptable Usage Agreement (AUA) do you plan to implement for employee devices containing sensitive company information?
- Compliance: What regulations apply to the data your organization has to secure? For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires native encryption on all devices that contain data relating to the act.
- Data Plans: Will the organization pay for employee data plans in full or partially? How will you compensate employees? Will they turn in expense reports or get a stipend?
- Devices: What mobile devices will you support, specific ones or whatever your workers currently use?
- Privacy: Determine what date you will collect from your staff’s devices, as well as what data you will never collect, and how you will discern between the two.
- Security: What security measures will you need to protect confidential company records, like Cloud backup, passcode protection, rooted devices, encryption and anti-malware/spyware apps?
- Services: What kinds of resources will you allow employees access to, such as VPNs, CRMs and secured wireless networks, for example. Will you let employees use company email accounts or messaging services?
Protect the Data Not the Device
A number of applications for BYOD management are available by a host of companies nowadays. Corporate personnel can use one easily accessible app for everything, from email and messaging, to accessing data and files. This way, organizations have a private and secure channel of communications that links the app with a gateway behind the company firewall.
This allows the IT team to secure and manage the environment, tailoring it to specific needs while keeping personal and corporate information separate. BYOD management apps continue to evolve with the growing needs of BYOD. They simplify the onboard process by eliminating the need to configure each device for email and authentication separately.
No matter what you do, take it slow. You don’t have to accept all devices from all of your staff at once. Begin with a few people and monitor your program to see how it performs. Add more people and devices as you perfect your BYOD management program.
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