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3 Things to Consider when Allowing Bring Your Own Devices Policies

IMG_0174On the plus side, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) allows employees to use devices with which they're familiar and comfortable, lowers the costs associated with acquiring, deploying and maintaining devices and reduces the number of required support personnel. At first glance this could be perceived as a no-brainer as the employee gains choice, and the business is offered an opportunity to lower costs. Win, win?

However, so enthusiastic has been their response to BYOD that many businesses have failed to think through the new breed of risks and vulnerabilities that this approach ushers in. Indeed, many early adopters are currently reining in or revisiting their BYOD ventures altogether, having had their fingers burned.

It is vital for organisations to understand that once committed to a BYOD initiative, it can be challenging and costly to back-pedal and reverse-engineer a programme.

To ensure that any BYOD policy benefits both the business and employees, there are a number of checks that can be made:

Mobiles and Laptops carry different risk levels

From a security perspective, all mobile devices are not created equal. A typical smartphone, for example, costs a few hundred pounds and involves relatively low security risks and licensing costs – all of which make it a strong candidate for inclusion in a BYOD programme. Laptops, however, are a bit trickier – they’re more expensive and represent a larger business risk, as they carry more data. For many businesses, the hazards of supporting a ‘bring your own laptop’ initiative often outweigh the benefits.

Agree Expectations to repair faulty devices

Poorly-defined service level expectations are often a subject of frustration and contention among early adopters of BYOD programmes. If an employee-owned device breaks for example, what’s the expectation for the employee to have the device repaired in a timely manner, to avoid productivity lapses?

Anticipate connectivity conundrums

Much of the negativity surrounding early BYOD deployments centred on connectivity issues. Given that your network is going to need to support a variety of new devices, be proactive about ensuring that user experience isn’t compromised by insufficient bandwidth. Here, network optimisation tools can be useful. In addition, consider upgrading the wireless network infrastructure in meeting rooms and communal areas.

More information is available at: http://www.itproportal.com/2013/04/26/byod-bringing-your-own-demise-five-steps-make-sure-your-business-doesnt-get-sucked/#25

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