Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

What it is and why it matters

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a term created to describe the situation where employees are using their own mobile tablets and devices in the workplace.

The rapid consumerisation of smartphones and tablets is coming to your business. Employees want to use their own smartphones and tablets to work because they believe their mobile applications are necessary to get jobs done. They are also more comfortable using their own device, not to mention the complications of having to carry around two devices (one for work and one for personal use).

In short, BYOD is the practice of employees bringing their own devices to work and using these instead of the company’s. In this way, employees can enjoy the comfort and familiarity they have with their own device.

Why BYOD is important

The BYOD trend has created a number of new opportunities and some very critical challenges for businesses. Mobile apps allow for simple and better-to-manage solutions in many instances for business owners. There are a number of reasons why BYOD is important, including:

  • Increased productivity. Employees are likely to increase productivity when they are using a familiar device. Furthermore, employees are more inclined to work offsite when they do not need to switch devices to do so.
  • Reduced company device costs. As soon as your business encourages employees to use their own devices, you reduce the cost, maintenance and management of company assets.
  • Ease of transition of incoming and outgoing employee mobile network access. With good BYOD management, you will be able to manage access to your company network without interfering with a mobile device. This means you can create new employee access and terminate access to outgoing employees with ease.
  • Improved employee loyalty.  You can increase your employee loyalty to your company by allowing them to feel more in control of their work with a clear BYOD strategy. Employees are found to increase productivity when they feel empowered with BYOD. Employees are also more likely to work offsite when they don’t need to switch between a personal and company device.
  • BYOD is seen as a job benefit. Many professionals view BYOD as a perk. Implementing BYOD shows that your business is progressive and technically enabled. Employees are generally reimbursed for using their own device. Many SMBs save by reimbursing employees based on the cost savings from not owning mobile devices for employee use (see above) leading to lower company costs.

Challenges of BYOD

  • Control security of your company data without controlling a mobile device. There are a number of applications you can use to secure data on mobile devices. Finding a solution that secures your data without controlling a device is at the essence of a good BYOD implementation.
  • Maintain employee privacy. Security measures over employee mobile devices must secure company data while at the same time balancing employee privacy. This means the software solution separates employees phone data and company data.
  • Getting your employees to follow company guidelines. Concise BYOD strategies involve the development of a thorough BYOD policy so your employees clearly understand their rights, benefits and obligations when using their own device.

Three keys to successfully implementing BYOD

A successful BYOD strategy implementation involves proper business analysis and determining the right BYOD solution for your business. Here are the three keys to a successfully implemented BYOD:

  • Carry out a business analysis and assess mobile application requirements for employees to do a better job and allow access to your company data through mobile devices.
  • Determine the correct software solution to implement BYOD.
  • Create a BYOD policy for your business and employees.

Carry out a business analysis and assess requirements

As a business decision maker, it is important to understand which mobile applications your employees are choosing to use, which applications can be integrated into your business applications, and which software can be used to securely access your company network. Most SMBs go with modern cloud-based solutions because they allow the separation of corporate functions and personal functions for a single device.

Determine the correct software solution to implement BYOD

A number of packaged BYOD cloud-based solutions can be bought for SMBs. This does not mean they all deliver the same solution. You may need to discuss a more creative solution with IT experts.

Create a BYOD policy for your business and employees

BYOD policies are best developed after a software solution has been determined, as the software solution will greatly impact the way you manage BYOD in your company. Formal BYOD policies coupled with the functionality of cloud-based services allow for a low-cost and balanced solution so that small and medium-sized businesses can maximise the benefits of employees using their own devices and still maintain company property (data) and employee privacy (personal data). Here is a look at the most important issues to consider when building your BYOD policy. This will include:

  • Employee reimbursement
  • Employee mobile practices including software training and usage requirements
  • Technical support for your BYOD software
  • Administrative practices for BYOD management

R & G Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Solutions

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