Not a lot in our lives these days is more personal than those cool slabs of connectivity in our pockets – our phones. No matter what systems power our devices – IOS or Android, RIM or Windows – we each make the device ours in countless ways by adding everything from apps to maps, from tunes to tweets. It’s how we talk to the world, how we listen, how we play – and how we work.
That last part is driving one of the hottest trends in business information technology: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). More and more, employees are being encouraged to use their own electronics (smartphones, portable computers, netbooks, tablets, etc.) for work.
When looked at objectively, it can make a lot of sense. Employers can save money on hardware, voice and data services. And for the employees, BYOD lets them maintain full access to their electronic lives while they’re at work.
Getting BYOD Right: Tips on the Trend
While companies benefit by allowing employees to connect/work at home, the real challenge is to manage the security of company data in a device over which they have limited control. According to some reports, over half of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs)currently have a comprehensive device management policy in place to help them exert some control over their data networks.
Of course, this means nearly half of all companies have no rules and regs for BYOD, which can make critical and sensitive information vulnerable. Business owners and IT managers either interested in BYOD or already actively encouraging it should decide on their approach. If you’re not sure where your employer stands, it’s probably worth checking with your IT team, especially if you’re already working a lot on your own device. You may be making yourself legally liable if something goes wrong, or could expose you employer to data theft risk.
If you are an employer considering setting up a BYOD system, here are some basic tips:
- One size doesn’t fit all. Take a fresh look at your policies for personal mobile devices from a technical point of view. Consider your organization’s culture, as well as its business objectives, as you shape policies for BYOD.
- Half measures will get you only half-way there. A decision to allow employees to access only certain systems outside the office tends to prevent jobs from getting done as efficiently as possible. Efforts should be made to make as many systems as possible available outside the building. Keep everything consistent and aligned. If you’re going to get into BYOD, go all in.
- Educate employees. Keep everyone in the loop. BYOD policies and methodologies need to be clearly laid out and fully understood. You may need to set up special classes and revise your existing IT practices and methodologies..
- Think storage. What works in the office to store information won’t necessarily work optimally outside it. Explore your storage options – don’t just bolt on what you already have.
At Geek Squad, we believe in BYOD, and we pride ourselves on being completely up-to-date on the latest whys, ways and wherefores. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to help you get up and running.
Agent Derek has been removing techno-stress from the lives of his Geek Squad clients since 2005. When not providing remote help as an Online Support Agent, he likes to take to the road on a vintage motorcycle for adventures through Ohio country highways.