BYOD Can Spell Trouble
Organizations that ignore setting up a BYOD policy will be at risk
By: Michelle Drolet
Aug. 13, 2012 08:00 AM
Whether you choose to embrace it or you try to resist it, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend is set to grow. The Cisco IBSG Horizons Study found that 78% of white-collar workers in the U.S. use a mobile device for work purposes and 41% of respondents indicated a majority of smartphones connecting to their company network are actually employee-owned.
If you don't already have a BYOD policy then you need one right now.
The trouble is that employees will connect to your network and use their personal mobile devices for work whether you allow it or not. In the past your company network could afford to be hard on the outside and soft on the inside, but nowadays you need to be hard on the inside too.
Creating a Solid BYOD Policy
If you have an existing policy for laptops then that can be a good place to start.
Take the time to assess and weigh your employee's desires against the needs of the company. If you can get a solid agreement in place and create a user policy that your employees are happy to sign, then it should be easy sailing. Setting up a comprehensive policy will require a lot of work upfront but it will also safeguard you against disputes and problems down the line.
Is BYOD Worth the Hassle?
A recent Good Technology survey found that "more than 80% of people continue working when they have left the office - for an average of seven extra hours each week - almost another full day of work."
Taking advantage of that trend and equipping those employees with access to the information and tools they need to work effectively at home makes a lot of sense.
What's the Catch?
Any assessment should encompass four vital best practices:
There are so many vendors in this space and so much technology available that it can be a real minefield. Being a fast-moving industry, the latest tools age quickly.
Deciding what BYOD will look like for your company isn't enough - you also need to ensure that your IT department and your employees receive the right training to enable it all to work as intended.
As the traditional division between work life and personal life breaks down, it's important that employers seize the opportunity. A solid BYOD policy sets boundaries and establishes expectations for everyone concerned. It can lead to a happier and more productive workforce and with the right planning that can be achieved without compromising data security.
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