There’s a huge amount of interest in the topic of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Whether you’re thinking of rolling out BYOD in the next 6 months or deciding not to allow it, it’s important to have a policy in place. A clear policy helps your employees understand what they can and can’t do with their own devices.
We’ve pulled together some pointers on rolling out BYOD with some tips on what to put in your policy. Each business is different, and there are many flavours of BYOD, but the following ideas should help spark some thoughts and debate in your own team.
Let’s start with some business considerations.
A good starting point is to recognise that your employees might like to use their own device. It’s also something the business might want as it could help people work better or reduce the costs of your mobile hardware. And, depending on your business, you might look on BYOD as something your customers or business partners can use.
Firstly, it might help to define why you’re thinking of rolling it out. Is it cost, or is it to improve productivity? Perhaps it’s both. Secondly, it’s good to look at how you’ll measure against what you set out to do. Whatever your reason it’s important to ensure that this is built into your Review stage. (see below).
Talk to the people your BYOD policy will affect. That could include your employees (the end users), those who support it (IT) and the people who’ll need to communicate it (HR). Ask them early on for their thoughts; getting their support up-front could help with a successful roll-out.
You might also find it helpful to speak to business peers and colleagues in other organisations – have they rolled out BYOD and what’s worked well and not so well?
Look at what you’ll need to support BYOD:
Who needs to be involved in the project?
What systems might you need to review before you implement (see IT considerations below)?
Who do you want to roll it out to?
What about running it as a trial first?
When’s the best time to roll it out?
How do you want to manage it, so do employees supply their own devices or do you contribute a monetary amount to maintenance?
You could include some of these questions in your Consult stage so that you get feedback from the people who will be using BYOD.
Make your policy easy for people to find it by documenting it. Be clear whether you allow BYOD or not, so that people know what they can and can’t do. Some things you might want to include are:
What is the company BYOD policy?
How does it work –how do people go about requesting and setting it up?
What business and personal applications can be accessed on the devices and when (particularly things like social networking sites)?
What can be stored on them?
Who’s responsible for the maintenance?
What happens if the device gets lost or damaged – does the company provide a replacement?
What are the key things that your employees are signing up to as part of the policy – this could cover things such as when and how do they notify the business if their phone is lost?
What’s the policy on wiping business and personal data if the device is lost?
Who’s available to support an employee if they need help?
What happens when an employee leaves?
You could also include contact details for your help desk and answers to FAQs.
Both your policy and by asking employees for feedback on how it’s working. You might also want to consider how you communicate your policy to new joiners and any ‘guests’, such as contractors or suppliers.
Build in regular reviews to look at things such as:
What’s working and what isn’t?
Is it delivering against the objectives and measurements you originally set?
Consult with IT to review how BYOD has affected things like the network and security - has there been any impact on performance or any security glitches?
What about IT resource to support – how’s this working?
Consult with employees and HR – is the policy being adhered to and are further communications required?
Following your reviews you might need to update your policy and plan how you will communicate the changes to your people.
IT is key to enabling BYOD – here are some considerations for the IT team.
As part of the Consult and Audit stages, you might want to look at:
Is your network set up to support BYOD?
What impact will there be on performance and availability by allowing these devices to go on to it? Now could be a good time to work with a service provider to do a network and security review.