Today it is almost unheard of for someone in the professional workforce to be lacking a personal smart phone and personal laptop. We all have our own devices and it’s pretty typical for us to use these devices for work purposes, such as taking a conference call on our personal cell phone or working on a presentation on our personal laptop. Because of this, some companies are turning to a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. There are a few things to consider about BYOD policies before jumping on board, however. This is what you need to know:
1. Cost Savings
One of the driving forces behind BYOD Policies are the cost savings the company incurs by not providing each employee with a laptop and cell phone plan. We all have our own anyway, right?
Laptops in general allow employees to work remotely. This policy allows employees to feel they have a greater work/life balance because they have the ability to have flexible working hours and environments. The employee also has the flexibility of choosing what device they want to work with and what they prefer.
Trade secrets, new innovations around a product launch, confidential legal documents, HR records- this is the information offices have that need to be kept secure. Working remotely can put this information at risk if an employee is haphazardly using an unsecure network. This little problem can be avoided with a little help from an IT professional.
On the flip side of security is privacy. Employees want the freedom to use their personal devices without feeling they are being monitored. However, companies need to monitor the data on devices for security purposes. This can be a hard issue to resolve as employees don’t want personal texts or pictures to be used against them professionally. Setting clear boundaries from the beginning can help resolve some of these concerns
5. Device Loss
The loss of a device when it is a personal device can cause a headache, but when this personal device also contains company information, there can be a larger issue. A few solutions to this problem include updating passwords regularly and fingerprint security
6. Restrictions on Devices
It’s no secret that apple products interface better with other apple products, but can your company only allow iPhones, iPads, and MacBook for the BYOD policy? This may mean some company issued technology still exists. BYOD policies need to be specific on what devices they allow and what devices they do not.
7. Service Policy
Clarity about IT support and broken devices from the beginning will help level set with employees. A personal application could be interfering with an application necessary for work- how is this resolved? If a device needs to be fixed or reconfigured, will a replacement device be provided? Disaster recovery is a service usually provided but it needs to be addressed when looking at personal devices used for business. Answers to these obstacles before they come up will be helpful in the long run .
8.Who owns What?
Of course, if you bring your own device, you own the device, but what about the data and the apps? The data on the company servers is owned by the companies, but the pictures of your daughters third birthday are yours. This issue comes up especially is a device needs to be wiped because it has been lost or stolen. Making sure employees routinely back up their personal data can alleviate this issue.
9.What is Allowed
Will employees be able to have social media on devices they use for work? Other apps can be questionable when it comes to security. A personal email account could vulnerable to a security breach. Looking at these possibilities beforehand and making policies around them will
10. Employee Exit Strategy
Inevitably, an employee will leave. You don’t want them taking sensitive company information with them on their tablet. They can’t just leave the phone behind and they probably don’t want you to wipe their device. A clear procedure around what will be done to clear a device needs to be set in place before an employee brings their own device.
BYOD Policies can bring enormous benefits to a company. Being prepared for all of the issues that might come up is the key to making a BYOD policy a success. Having clear policies and procedures is essential and will keep the employees and the employers mutually satisfied with the arrangement. At GadellNet, out IT professionals know the ins and outs of device security and can make the transition to a BYOD workplace a snap.
GadellNet is an award-winning IT consulting firm that provides full-service technology solutions to small businesses. Since 2003, we have been delivering efficient, profitable and happier workforces. GadellNet’s best-in-class engineering team is highly successful at implementing and maintaining value-add hardware and software technology.