5 Ways to Get BYOD Right in 2016

BYOD wasn’t one of those trends that came in and took over, nor was it one that gradually made its way into the workplace. It began in the 1990’s, but petered out in the early 2000’s due to incompatibility issues, security worries, and some legal concerns. Now it’s back, and back with a vengeance. Under pressure from employees who are very much in love with their personal devices and are loathe to tote and maintain two separate devices all the time, companies are giving in. But how can you assure that BYOD will be successful, both in terms of empowering your mobile workforce and in keeping your company safe from harm? Here’s how to do it right.

1. Decide What Devices and Apps Will (and Won’t) Be Allowed

Which devices will be allowed to access your network? What apps are okay for doing work? Construct a list of do’s and don’ts.

Determining which devices and apps are allowed solves two problems. First, it eliminates platforms and applications that have known security vulnerabilities. Second, it limits the number of compatibility issues your IT teams have to contend with. Definitely allow the major two: Android and Apple, and consider letting in BlackBerry, as well. It’s best to either develop your own apps for handling work or to establish policies to control what apps are used to do work or access your network and systems.

2. Set Stringent Regulations for Device Passwords

Fluffy and Fido make wonderful pet names, but are horrible passwords. Users don’t like using passwords on their devices, because it makes them harder to access quickly. But the trouble they contend with pales in comparison to the massive disruption caused by a data breach. Insist on strong passwords for all devices used for work purposes.

3. Determine What Support Your IT Department Will Be Responsible for Providing

You will need to make it clear to both your IT staff and to your employees what technical issues and questions IT will handle and which will be the responsibility of the user to handle with their cell service provider. Nail down questions about what the help desk will offer in terms of setting up devices and apps, handling compatibility issues, replacing damaged, lost, or broken devices, and other technical issues that are likely to come up from time to time.

4. Make It Clear Who Owns the Apps and Data Stored on Devices

Does the company maintain ownership of work apps and data or does that all belong to the user once it’s on their device? Ownership is usually required for companies that have to follow any compliance regulations, and is sometimes needed for litigation purposes. IT will also need the technical capacity to back up that data and to lock it down or wipe it clean in the event that the phone falls into the wrong hands.

5. Establish a Smart Exit Policy

How will IT assure that workers who leave aren’t taking valuable customer data and proprietary secrets with them?

What happens to work apps and data when workers leave? Usually, IT will require that employees who leave stop by and allow them to wipe corporate data off of the device. But this isn’t always possible. IT needs a way to wipe the data even if the device isn’t physically available.

In order for a BYOD policy to be successful, you have to have the networking capabilities to power those devices without bogging down the system. Turn-Key Technologies can help you design a solution that works for BYOD. Request a quote today.

By Craig Badrick

February 5, 2016

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