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Reap the Benefits and Avoid the Pitfalls of BYOD

Quick, take this two-second quiz:

1) Do you and your employees own personal smartphones, tablets or notebooks?

2) If yes, are they used for company work also?

Okay, now it’s time for a Choose Your Own Adventure post:

If the answer to question 2 is “no,” go on to the “Pros” section to find out how utilizing your personal mobile devices for work (otherwise known as BYOD – Bring Your Own Device) can increase employee satisfaction and productivity while cutting your company’s expenses.

If the answer to question 2 is “yes,” go on to the “Pitfalls and How to Stay Clear of Them” section to find out how to ensure the security of your company data and the productivity of your employees with the open access of BYOD.

Section 1 – Pros of BYOD

Pros:

  • BYOD promises employee satisfaction – employees expect to be able to access work from their mobile devices, just like they can access everything else in life from their smartphones.
  • BYOD lowers expenses – if employees are using their own smartphones or tablets, you don’t have to provide them with a work device.
  • BYOD increases work efficiency – if employees can access work whenever, they will put in more time outside of standard work hours.

BYOD is most effective for companies with a mobile workforce that is anyway using mobile devices. Salespeople and distributors use apps to check inventory or show sales videos to prospects. Construction teams access and update project information when they’re on-site.

Enabling the workforce to use the devices they already have simplifies life for them and lowers your company’s expenses.

BYOD isn’t a utopia, though. There are pitfalls, but the smart business owner will know about them and know how to manage them to get the pros of BYOD while minimizing the cons.

Section 2 – Pitfalls of BYOD and How to Stay Clear

Pitfalls:

  • security breaches when a device gets lost, stolen – or picked up by your employee’s teenager.
  • strain on your company’s bandwidth as employees use both their personal device and their desktop at the same time.
  • employees getting distracted by their smartphone apps and wasting time instead of working.
  • compatibility issues with different operating systems and applications.

How do you manage BYOD to minimize the pitfalls and enjoy the advantages?

  • Device management – know who is using what on your network.
  • Standards for password complexity and rotation.
  • Your company needs to have the authority to remotely wipe data when a device is lost, stolen or when an employee leaves the company.
  • Standards for data encryption.
  • Access company data, when possible, through web servers and apps, eliminating the need to store data on the device itself and providing another layer of protection.
  • Security patch, antivirus and antimalware update standards.
  • If bandwidth and productivity are concerns, consider limitation of BYOD to mobile workforce, when on-site or on sales calls.

Write out all your expectation and standards in an official BYOD policy that your employees read and sign on.

BYOD is where company technology is leading – especially for mobile workforces. Stay ahead of the game and make sure the rules are in favor of security, economy and productivity.

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Do you allow personal devices already, but your device management is haphazard? Or now you want to allow devices but all of the stuff you need to manage seems overwhelming?

Don’t sweat it.

Take a look at how we can facilitate your mobile device management so you can reap the benefits without the pitfalls.