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21 March 2017

Implementing safe BYOD policies

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BYOD (bring your own device) is no longer a trend: it has become the norm. More and more employees are taking their own devices to the office for professional use. If you want to truly enable your workforce to do their best work, the question is no longer whether you should use BYOD, but how.

Impact on the IT infrastructure

Most IT managers are not too enthusiastic about BYOD. Is it possible to safeguard company data if employees use their own devices? It is clear that the IT infrastructure will have to be adjusted if you decide to introduce BYOD. It is important to ensure that confidential data remains confidential and organizations do not want to make their entire internal network available to everyone.

Using more mobile devices can also affect the mobile infrastructure. The data centre needs to be prepared for this. But desktop virtualization can provide a solution and lets organizations centralize desktops and applications, and support and protect devices from one location. This will resolve any safety issues. 

Supporting your colleagues

BYOD will also affect your organization’s service management. To what extent will you support your employees? Which devices will you support? Your organization can decide to only support basic services, such as email. However, it may also be worthwhile to support important services such as applications that generate turnover: a CRM system or service management applications.

Additionally, you could grant your employees access to extra services, such as the intranet or even the entire network. Theoretically, you could tell your employees that they cannot use their own devices and that they are therefore not supported, however, it turns out that people use their own equipment for professional services, regardless of whether or not it is permitted within their organization. Granting your employees access to basic services and a number of crucial extra services provides excellent support, and prevents you from having to tackle tricky issues.

Your organization will have better control over the course of BYOD issues by providing support for at least a selection of devices.”

A clear BYOD policy

Many organizations’ IT policies are not yet attuned to BYOD. This means that companies will have to spend time considering the phenomenon: after all, you will need to take precautions against privacy and security risks. That is why it is important to formulate a clear and effective policy as quickly as possible. Register who can use which devices, and to what extent. Indicate who is responsible if a device is damaged or lost, or if confidential data is lost.

You will also need to determine who will have to pay licence costs, and the levels of support the user can expect. However, a good policy is not enough: you will also need to train your employees. You will have to ensure that your employees know how to handle the policy, new processes and software. It is especially important to train the IT department, so that they can provide support for the various devices.

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