BYOD Best Practices: 3 Steps to Manage Your BYOD Implementation

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Jul 20, 2014 05:03 pm PST

BYOD can be complicated, but with a few helpful tips, enterprises can implement and maintain an effective BYOD initiative.

Providing Options

Fast advances in mobile technology mean that mobile devices often have a shorter lifespan than any other electronic device in the enterprise. When new mobile devices or updated operating systems come to market, existing devices may quickly feel obsolete, driving employees’ demand to use these new devices. Not addressing employee preferences is not a viable long-term solution. Enterprises may run the risk of employees going around the IT department’s boundaries, opening up the organisation to data breaches and compromising security.

Many organisations move to BYOD to provide employees with more device and operating system options. For companies that are gradually transitioning away from corporate-owned devices to a primarily BYOD model, providing employees with a selected set of device options may help ease the transition.

Communicate Clear Policies

When an employee decides to participate in a BYOD program, communication may be one of the most critical aspects to the program’s success.

The company’s BYOD policy should define the rules of the program, in accordance with government regulations and company security policies, and be clear and simple for end users to understand. When employees understand the reasons for certain policies and the risks and benefits associated with a BYOD program, it is much easier to drive user buy-in and responsible behaviour.

Privacy is often the main concern for employees: “Is my personal information private?” “What information can my employer access?” Clearly communicating what IT can and can’t do, will help alleviate those concerns.

And there are other concerns, such as employees losing personal data in the event of a device wipe. Illustrating the difference between a full device wipe and an enterprise wipe, which erases only company data, should be given special attention as employees grow accustomed to new device policies.

IT’s New Role as a Consultant

BYOD takes troubleshooting to a new level. Instead of solving issues for only one or two device types, IT departments managing BYOD programs are now asked to solve issues for a wider array of device types and operating systems. Due to this influx, the way IT interacts with employees has changed. BYOD creates a huge shift in how IT employees work and interact. Because there are so many more variables in a BYOD setting, the IT department takes on more of a consultant role.

As a result, the importance of an easy-to-use, self-service portal is amplified. Some organisations even create in-office “genius bars” to help give employees more immediate access to IT.

There are many guides available to help organizations prepare and develop strong BYOD frameworks. To learn more, download the AirWatch BYOD whitepaper.

By Ian Evans, Vice President and Managing Director, EMEA; AirWatch by VMware

ian_evansBio: Ian Evans is vice president and managing director, EMEA, at AirWatch. He is responsible for growing AirWatch’s business in the European, Middle Eastern and African regions. Evans brings more than 20 years of experience in the software industry to AirWatch, with more than 10 years in direct and channel sales. He has been successful in helping companies achieve forecasted goals by structuring sales and operation processes and coaching sales teams to deliver multi-year, multimillion-dollar contracts.