Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are becoming increasingly popular now that smartphones are becoming ubiquitous across the country and around the world. According to Pew Research, as of October 2014, 90 percent of American adults owned a cell phone and 64 percent owned a smartphone. By the same coin, tablets are helping propel small businesses and large firms alike to make the move to implementing BYOD.
The same Pew study found that 42 percent of American adults own a tablet computer. The benefits of BYOD, including saving money on IT infrastructure, increasing business intelligence and achieving higher levels of productivity among employees, are good reasons to look into implementing some sort of BYOD strategy.
Here are three ways your company can easily bring BYOD into the workplace:
- Create a list of allowed devices
Make sure your employees know which devices (e.g. smartphone, tablet, etc.) are permitted in the workplace. To prevent negative consequences of shadow IT, which includes devices that an employer is unaware of on the network. It really depends on what your preferences are and what your IT team can safely and effectively manage.
- Put a security strategy in place
This goes along with the assertion that companies should try to avoid shadow IT, which can cause costly security breaches if left unchecked for too long. Your security strategy will depend on which devices you allow on the network.
According to CIO contributor Jonathan Hassell, one good idea is to require employees to use passwords and authentication strategies on their phones in order to keep data and applications physically safe. Employees are the first line of defense when it comes to cybersecurity, so businesses have to make sure their assets are safe.
- Find a template
After you've completed the first two steps, find a template or checklist for implementing your BYOD solution. Perhaps not surprisingly given the focus on cybersecurity by the Obama administration, even the White House has its own BYOD strategy that you can peruse in order to get a feeling for how it works. Your template will detail the rest of your strategy. Extra steps may include: selecting key personnel to spearhead the employee education efforts within the company and making sure your policy is cost-effective and addresses proper cybersecurity protocol.