BYOD became the “new normal” in 2013, and Gartner predicts that by 2017, more than half of all employers will not just allow—but will require—employees to bring their own devices to work. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but not everyone recognized that they are boarding for a trip with a bumpy ride. What they see are the many benefits, like greater innovation, better work-life balance, and improved productivity, without realizing the increased pressure it puts on IT to manage and secure devices. As BYOD becomes increasingly prevalent, savvy IT professionals will face these challenges head on and focus on how to strategically manage BYOD—acknowledging that it will require time, planning, and knowledge to properly implement from the start. The following are 10 quick tips for strategically migrating to a BYOD strategy:
- Clearly define the supported scope and restrictions: How do employees use their devices to reach your business objectives, respective to role, business unit, location, and any government policy compliance that is material for the business model? Use the answer to set up the scope, reach, and restrictions of your mobility program.
- Take the time to define mobile user profiles: Different types of users need different levels of corporate support and security, especially respective to data value. For example, an HR manager won’t have the same mobile needs as a contract technician. Accurate profiles from the beginning makes for easier work later on.
- Create realistic timelines: The transition from a fully corporate liable model to an independent liability model, like BYOD, can take months. Remember that it won’t be an overnight switch.
- Secure executive buy-in: The BYOD movement affects everyone at a company, from the CEO to the hourly employee. Make sure you share the plan for your move to BYOD with management across all functions; to ensure support from business unit leaders, consider a mobile executive sponsor.
- Consider a UX-friendly container to enforce and govern policies: Once connected, employees’ devices will be an extension of corporate data. A container for the enterprise workspace can greatly simplify how your organization interacts with these devices, protecting both the firm’s data and the employee’s private data. Employee trust is especially important to achieve high rates of adoption.
- Perform pilot testing: Use small groups to test and gain feedback on application deployment, usage, and management; this allows key stakeholders or business function areas to problem solve before you take a BYOD policy company wide.
- Plan accordingly for the transition phase: Transferring liability from the corporation to the individual can be a complex process. Don’t forget the transfer of liability forms.
- Communicate with everyone: Providing training and information on the new BYOD policy is important in order for employees to feel comfortable with the new plan; good training will ensure a smooth implementation.
- Don’t downsize resources or your helpdesk….yet: Though employees are assuming liability, this doesn’t mean they have full technical knowledge. You still need to provide resources to help, at least in the short term.
- Don’t forget to track and audit: Keeping track of what devices are connected to your corporate network is important to determine security risks, policies, and what your mobile costs should be.
Implementing a BYOD strategy takes time and commitment. Is your enterprise ready to take on BYOD? Read more about implementing a winning BYOD strategy in Tangoe’s Tech Trend report here.