You Better Get a BYOD Strategy
Today’s business world is vastly different than it was even ten years ago. Today, employees are bringing their own devices, whether or not you have a strategy in place. This trend is not going away anytime soon. If you don’t already have a strategy, it’s time to get one.
What is BYOD?
A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy is one in which business partners, employees and others can use their own personally selected client devices to execute business applications and access data. Typically, these devices are tablets and smartphones, but can include other devices such as PC’s, notebooks and other portable devices.
The Importance of a BYOD Strategy
BYOD strategies are among the most radical changes to the culture and economics of client computing in the business world. There are many benefits of BYOD, including increasing employee satisfaction, reducing costs and creating new mobile workforce opportunities.
There are considerable risks that come with using mobile devices for work. A small device that can fit into a pocket can easily be lost or stolen; if that device contains a large amount of data, it can put your entire business at risk. Implementing a BYOD strategy is the best way to combat these risks.
Other issues with not having a strategy in place include inconsistent user experiences, potential deployment complexity and data security challenges.
Creating Your BYOD Strategy
Creating your company’s BYOD strategy will take some thought and planning. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Understand the objectives of your BYOD strategy: Take the time to define the objectives of your program so you can implement is as needed. Strategic objectives could include increased productivity, cost savings, and employee satisfaction.
- Understand your target users: It’s impossible to implement a successful strategy if you don’t understand your audience. Are your employees fully mobile, partially mobile, or in-office workers? Does your solution need to extend to consultants, contractors or partners? Knowing what your users want and need will play a critical role in devising your overall strategy.
- Understand the risks: Will giving access to corporate email put your business data at risk, or will giving access to financial data put you at an even greater risk? You may want to impose varying security measures depending on the type of data your employees have access to. Understanding the sensitivity of your data and setting appropriate security measures will help to ensure that your intellectual property is not compromised.
- Understand which mobile apps are needed: You’ll need to know what apps your users will be running on their devices. This requires a thorough understanding of how employees do their jobs. Do they just need to access email, or do they need access to more complex back-office programs? Will they need file sharing capabilities? This will help determine whether you buy apps off the shelf, or whether you’ll have to customize using in-house capabilities or leverage a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to see the vision through.
- Understand what devices will be supported: You can decide what devices will be supported, and which ones won’t be based on all of the information you’ve gathered thus far.
Creating and implementing a BYOD strategy will help both you and your employees create a more productive work environment.