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A guide to pulling together your own BYOD policy

Bring Your Own Device

Posted 669 days ago


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.


Define

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).

Consult

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?

Audit

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.

Document

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.

Communicate

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.

Review

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:

Network

  • 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.

Security

  • Is your security set up to manage BYOD?
  • How will you check and OK devices so that they can go onto the network?
  • How will you check them first to make sure they’re clean of any bugs?
  • How will you block access (if that’s what you decide as part of your policy) to certain applications, possibly at certain times of the day?
  • Do you have systems in place that will alert you when rogue devices have tried to get access?
  • How will you deal with any security breaches as a result of BYOD?

Data

  • Where will data be stored and backed-up?
  • Has this been reviewed in light of your data protection policy? Now might be the time to move to a virtualised model.

Ongoing management

  • How will you keep up with new devices trying to go onto the network?
  • How will you manage employees leaving or lost devices and denying them access to the network?
  • Do you have ‘guests’ requiring ad-hoc access and if so, how are you managing this?

Support

  • How will you manage employees who can’t set up their BYOD access or have a problem?
  • You might want to consider simple FAQs as part of the policy or publish them on your internal portals to ease the number of extra support calls you get.
  • What happens if a personal device is lost – will you supply temporary business devices and if so, who is going to manage this?

We’re here to help with your own policy and have a team of experts who are on hand to answer any questions.

Fill in the form on the right or give us a call on 0800 032 7977 and we can arrange a free BYOD Health Check and potential ROI calculation.

 

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