How many of your employees have a smartphone? The answer is probably most (if not all) of them. In the United States alone, nearly two-thirds of adults own a smartphone, and many of them depend on the device to do much of their personal computing. As a result, many workers, even if they are instructed not to, will use their devices while at your office. This is why many companies have put in place a comprehensive Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy.
BYOD is a great new trend that can improve innovation, employee morale, and the productivity of your staff. This is only true, though, if you approach BYOD in a safe and secure way that manages to contain and control the flow of your business’s data. Implementing such a plan isn’t easy, and there’s much that needs to be checked off before you can confidently start using BYOD.
There are several factors that need to be considered before implementing your own BYOD strategy.
- Identify potential risks: The first step to integrating a BYOD plan is to identify what parts of the plan can pose a problem for your business. Where is there potential for data leakage to external parties? More often than not, your team will be using devices that they already own, so it’s important that your organization doesn’t run into security discrepancies.
- Define a clear BYOD policy: If you’re going to implement BYOD, then you need to map out a complete plan that encompasses your entire infrastructure. Consider why you’re implementing BYOD in the first place. Is it to improve workplace productivity, or is it to make your network more mobile? Whatever the reason for your BYOD policy, it should be designed to optimize your goals.
- Consider regulations and compliance issues: Certain data needs to be protected and secured from hackers, or else your business will become the target of major fines from violating PCI, HIPAA, and other compliance regulations. This means being prepared to deploy your business’s information in such a way where this data is at minimal risk.
- Keep track of used devices: You can’t have devices entering and leaving your network on a whim. If your team is going to be bringing their own devices to use for work, you should keep track of who brings in what devices, and how they are accessing data stored on the network.
- Train your staff: Perhaps most important of all is that you take the time to properly train your staff on what it means to bring their own devices into the workplace. You should be clear that, if they’re going to be using their mobile devices, you expect them to make intelligent decisions about how and why they use the data stored on these devices.
Regardless of how you decide to implement BYOD, there will be a couple of technologies that you won’t want to leave behind. For example, a mobile device management solution is a great way to limit access to information on the company network, while allowing you to remotely wipe devices that may be compromised, lost, or stolen. Another technology crucial to allowing your team to get the most from BYOD is cloud computing, which lets them access important information and applications via the Internet from any approved device.
If your business is ready to take on the challenge of implementing BYOD, Internet & Telephone would be happy to help. Give us a call at (978)965-8408 today to get started.