How to Do BYOD Right

Bring Your Own Device is the latest trend for businesses, and for good reason. BYOD increases productivity for employees, saves the company money, and is a policy generally liked by most employees. Although it’s becoming more and more popular, it’s not always right for every company. If you decide to do BYOD in your company, make sure you do it right.

Bring your own device
photo credit: IMG Lighting / Flickr

Decide If It’s Right for the Company

While BYOD is certainly a growing trend, especially for small businesses, it’s not necessarily right for all businesses. Don’t have a BYOD policy just because it’s cheaper or convenient. List out the specific pros and cons for your company before you make any decisions.

If you use freelancers for your company, a BYOD is the obvious and sometimes the only choice. On the other hand, if you have employees who work remotely, it doesn’t always have to be with a BYOD policy. You should focus on all aspects of your company before deciding.

Consider Your Employees

If you allow your employees to work from home, it typically makes sense for them to use their own devices, but it’s also becoming more popular for people who work in an office every day. Having a laptop they can take home with them increases productivity, and allows people to work from home when necessary. With today’s technology, they can work from anywhere through their smartphones, and with a fast, reliable network such as T-Mobile’s, they are always connected and easy to reach out to.

If you believe your employees will be more productive using their own devices, then it’s probably a good choice for you. If most of your staff already have their personal computers, tablets, and smartphones, then it probably won’t be a burden to use them. If your employees would have to buy new equipment, you may want to reconsider having them use their own devices.

Evaluate Your Security

One of the biggest concerns about BYOD is security. If your company deals with a lot of secure information, you may be hesitant to allow BYOD for your business. Don’t make assumptions about the security of those personal devices. You may opt to require that security software be added to personal devices, which can help to make sure they are just as protected from security threats as office equipment.

Businesswoman bringing her own device

Define a Clear Policy

One of the most important aspects of BYOD is making sure there is a clear policy associated with any work related material. Employees must exercise due diligence to make certain that all private company information on their personal device is protected, no matter where the device is.

If you plan on monitoring certain aspects of the person’s device usage, for example, browsing through internal servers, that also needs to be clearly defined. Surveillance becomes trickier when a person is using their personal device. What the company can or will do regarding monitoring a person’s work on their own device must be clearly stated and understood by all employees. It also should be clear who owns what information on someone’s personal device.

Enact an Exit Policy

When a person is fired or quits from a company with a BYOD policy, the process can be a little trickier than in one where all the equipment is owned by the company. You should define a mandatory exit policy for when someone leaves to make sure they don’t take any of your company’s private information with them. One option may be to remotely wipe parts or all of a person’s device when they leave the company.

Your exit policy should be mandatory, especially if someone leaves on bad terms. Before you enact BYOD in your office, all employees must know and understand that your company information is not owned by them just because they have it on their device.

While BYOD is a good policy for many businesses, if it’s not done right it can open up your business to big trouble. Before setting up BYOD in your company, do your homework, and set it up so it helps your business instead of hurting it.