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Getting Prepared for BYOD

Gartner predicts that half of organizations will move to a mandatory bring your own device (BYOD) program by 2017. As organizations start to think about BYOD, it's also good to look at what works when formalizing a strategy. 

Organizations can encounter pitfalls when implementing a BYOD strategy. It's better to recognize what those pitfalls will be in order to shape a strategy that will work best with the culture of the organization. Here are a few issues on what organizations have encountered or may encounter as they shape their strategy:

  • Apps: Who knows what the next addictive and exciting app will be a month from now or even tomorrow? Either way, it causes some distress for organizations and irritation for employees to what can and can’t be downloaded. The best way to approach it is to have a set of lists of sanctioned and non-sanctioned apps. With apps that have been blacklisted, it’s also good to have a set of flexible guidelines instead of a standard rule one size fits all rule. Even though an app may be on the blacklist, it may be less troublesome than others. 
  • Tracking: This is something that may not cross employee’s minds, but organizations are allowed to track phones. Is it Orwellian? Sure, but organizations with BYOD programs need employees to be productive with their devices. This calls for certain apps or capabilities to be limited during office hours. Also, some organizations offer data plan allowances or reimburse their employees for a plan they purchase. Monitoring data usage serves as a way to make sure organizations are not wasting money.
  • Security: This is definitely one of the main issues surrounding BYOD. Strong authentication processes are needed. Corporate information on someone’s personal device is always risky. If a phone or tablet is compromised and lost, wiping it clean of all its data can be extreme. It’s better to ensure only enterprise data and apps are only affected.

BYOD is just another example on how the workplace is evolving. The work environment of the past was a more slioed and fragmented, information was shared as much, and the office computer was the device to get work done. That's all changed. Organizations are more connected and engaged, a lot more information is shared, and most employees can connect to work from any smartphone or tablet. 

Remember, at this point, it's never too early to think about BYOD.

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