Maximizing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Programme at Your Organization

March 26, 2015

By Joe Karbowski, Global SVP of Technology

The term BYOD first emerged in 2009. That’s when Intel first recognised that many of its own employees chose to use their personal mobile phones instead of an IT-approved device. Today, around 60% of U.S. employees say they use at least one personal device for work. In countries like Brazil and Russia that percentage is even higher as businesses proactively require employees to BYOD as an employment practise.

Business leaders frequently cite productivity gains as one of the top benefits associated with BYOD initiatives. In fact, one corporate study reported that employees each gained an average of 57 minutes of productivity per day when using their own device for work! Increasing employee morale, enhancing the ability to recruit top talent and providing more conveniences to employees are other common benefits.

But IT concerns remain an issue – even as BYOD programmes have evolved. Let’s take a look at how you can maximise your BYOD initiative and the benefits associated with this trend in work technology.

Create A Working BYOD Policy

If you allow employees to use personal devices for work, you need a BYOD policy. The policy should articulate that in return for letting the employee use a personal device to access company data, the employer has the right to protect that data. This might include a requirement for the employee to use a password on the device, or for the employee to maintain certain security software on the device. In addition, the policy should allow the organisation to delete data whenever the company wishes to delete it.

A good BYOD policy should also outline terms for eligibility for BYOD. The policy outlines permissible and impermissible uses and cautions against expectations of privacy. It should describe the company’s right to access the device and how its cost is allocated, as well as safety precautions for users. It also addresses what happens when personal devices are lost, stolen or damaged; the procedure when employment terminates; and the disciplinary consequences for policy violations.

BYOD devices can be combined with Mobile Device Management platforms to confirm that application provisioning and network access meets corporate security standards, but can sometimes be complex when dealing with an employee’s personal property. Which leads to COPE, which I’ll get into a bit more below.

To get started on a BYOD policy, you could start by gathering up a variety of templates that exist online and create a policy that’s right for your employees and business.

Consider the COPE Model

The corporate-owned, personally enabled (COPE) model, allows an organisation to buy employees their devices of choice, with the understanding they’ll be used for both business and personal tasks. Many problems organisations face with BYOD vanish when the COPE model is practised.

Without COPE in place, an IT organisation might get stiff-armed when it tries to instal security management software on employee-owned smartphone. But with COPE, employees can’t deny your organisation from manageing the devices. Your organisation will also enjoy volume discounts, which aren’t possible when employees buy various devices from disparate sources. COPE provides employers the ability to maximise the consumerization of IT, while still remaining flexible with operational needs.

Focus on Securing Data Not Devices

When Intel began planning its BYOD programme, programme leaders realised its existing security model would not work with IT consumerization. The team chose to develop a new strategy which outlines what they do and why, and the new architecture that describes how and when solutions are implemented.

Intel worked with strategic suppliers to build a supported approach. The new security model solves the challenge associated with BYOD – focusing on the data that the hardware accesses instead of attempting to secure the hardware itself.

For example, it might be important for your IT organisation to be able to remotely wipe data from a device if it is lost or stolen. Or perhaps you want to enable employees to only view documents on their devices, but not allow them to print or email those documents remotely.

Studies show that your employees will overwhelmingly embrace BYOD plans you offer because it gives them the ability to use a device of their choosing. And since more than 50% of your employees are willing to foot the technology bill, your organisation stands to reduce its technology budgets considerably!

Discover more about BYOD

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