What to Know Before Implementing BYOD
Many enterprises have implemented a BYOD model. The benefits have been praised repeatedly over the past year, but making the switch is not as simple as just connecting devices to the corporate network. There needs to be many issues addressed, such as security, with coordination between IT and management, in addition to operations, human resources, finance, and other departments. A company wide policy is the only way everyone can be on the same page to implement the most secure and efficient BYOD strategy. There are a few things to consider during this process.
How does your company stand to benefit from using mobile devices?
There are many perks to having mobile devices on the network. Some companies want to make it convenient for employees to access mobile features, like email. Many seek to transform how the business operates; this often requires employees to always be connected. Your teams need to look into new ways of running the business and how these integrate into a BYOD policy.
Who is going to have access to company data?
If you do not have a policy for access control, then every piece of data will be accessible to anyone who is connected to the network. From a security perspective, this is dangerous. There are ways to separate corporate from personal data on a single device, and designate specific employees to be able to access certain levels of data. Your enterprise team should map out who should have access to what and what role, management level, geography, or other factors have in determining access restrictions.
Enterprises with BYOD policies face a number of choices when it comes to the financial aspect. Devices, voice and data plans, repairs, and support can add up to a lot of money, especially if you have hundreds, even thousands of workers with mobile devices. Consider if your company can fully fund a mobile plan or if providing a stipend for corporate use of the device is more cost-effective. Rules for handling roaming charges, app downloads, and customer support should be established before the plan is implemented.
An IT Plan
In formulating a company wide policy, your IT personnel need to decide upon which devices will be accepted into the network. A singular operating system can help to ease management of the network, so this needs to be concluded on during the planning stage. Steps include creating documentation for initial rollout, which can be featured on an internal wiki, for example. Others are creating a method of wiping data should a device be lost, managing features such as GPS tracking, or allowing use of apps. Some IT departments start with a pilot program, in order to test out policies and decide what questions come up most often.
These points and many others must be considered before implementing a company wide BYOD policy. With potentially thousands of devices on a single network, you must address infrastructure, financial, security, and access issues by coordinating teams from several departments. A carefully thought out policy will streamline the integration of mobile devices with any corporate network, and contribute to a workforce able to work most efficiently.