By Joe Karbowski, Global SVP of Technology
The term BYOD first emerged in 2009. That’s when Intel first recognized 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 practice.
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 programs have evolved. Let’s take a look at how you can maximize 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 organization 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 organization to buy employees their devices of choice, with the understanding they’ll be used for both business and personal tasks. Many problems organizations face with BYOD vanish when the COPE model is practiced.
Without COPE in place, an IT organization might get stiff-armed when it tries to install security management software on employee-owned smartphone. But with COPE, employees can’t deny your organization from managing the devices. Your organization will also enjoy volume discounts, which aren’t possible when employees buy various devices from disparate sources. COPE provides employers the ability to maximize the consumerization of IT, while still remaining flexible with operational needs.
Focus on Securing Data Not Devices
When Intel began planning its BYOD program, program leaders realized 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 organization 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 organization stands to reduce its technology budgets considerably!