The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement is no longer really a movement; it’s a way of doing business for many organizations. According to Gartner, 38 percent of enterprises expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2017, and half will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes that same year.
The reasons vary, but cost is clearly a factor. In addition, allowing workers to use their own devices increases productivity, because they are more familiar and comfortable with them. This familiarity also translates into fewer IT troubleshooting issues and lowers employee resistance to using mobile devices for work-related purposes. Perhaps most important, BYOD is simply inevitable. Regardless of whether an organization allows it, many workers will use their devices for work-related tasks.
BYOD creates serious challenges for enterprises, especially around management and security. But the right tools, implemented correctly, can address these concerns. These include:
Mobile Data Management (MDM): Software installed on each device or delivered via the cloud, through which organizations can control devices, enforce policies and encrypt data
Mobile Application Management (MAM): Software applied to every application on a device that allows IT staff to lock down, secure and control only the organization’s specific applications on a user’s mobile device
Mobile Information Management (MIM): Technology that keeps private data encrypted and allows only preapproved applications to transmit or access the data
Mobile Content Management (MCM): Capability that allows users and administrators to share documents, presentations and video securely on mobile devices, also allows for remote updates and content erasure
While technology is critical to the management, success and security of BYOD programs, policies are just as crucial. Every organization should have a mobile policy, but many do not.
A mobility policy should include BYOD components and specify which devices (and operating systems) are supported. The policy should lay out password specifications, define which apps will be supported, explain the steps that will be taken if a device is lost or stolen, define who pays for the device, work-related apps and usage charges, and establish how data protection and security will be handled. The policy’s security elements should include rules for downloading enterprise documents and limits on network and application access.
Want to learn more? Check out CDW’s white paper, “Microsoft Mobile Empowerment.”