Far from just a trend, the bring your own device (BYOD) policy is quickly becoming more entrenched in the corporate world. Gartner Inc. predicts that by 2017, half of all employers will require their employees to supply their own devices for work purposes. Businesses have known for a while now that a BYOD model delivers several benefits, including improved user productivity, engagement, and satisfaction, as well as the possibility of cost savings.
A recently released CIO white paper, “10 Best Practices for Implementing a Successful BYOD Program,” instructs companies who want to adopt a BYOD program to:
- Define program objectives and get executive buy-in. Determine why you are moving to BYOD. Then ensure that executive sponsors support the program objectives and will provide the budget and people resources necessary for program success.
- Determine eligible BYOD users. While initial deployments may be limited to highly mobile employees and executives, BYOD no longer needs to be the exclusive privilege of the highly mobile. Every employee can benefit from the increased productivity, flexibility, and efficiency that mobility offers.
- Define acceptable use policy. A well-defined policy should not constrain the use of any personal data, apps, or other content because the users own their devices. CIO advises corporations to limit themselves to managing only the corporate data on a personally owned device unless there is a compelling business or security reason to address personal data on it as well.
- Create a communication plan. To ensure policy compliance, you should implement simple, repeated end-user communication and training.
- Identify a pilot program. CIO recommends using a pilot program for the initial roll out of the solution. The pilot will provide invaluable insight into potential barriers to user adoption, incremental training, and IT readiness, and it will help assess whether the benefits are aligned with its defined goals.
- Decide which devices to allow. Users today have many choices when it comes to mobile devices and platforms. Your BYOD program should include a recommended list of devices that will work best with the user’s job profile and the apps they will be using.
- Negotiate mobile service rates with carriers. Before your employees start to rely on their mobile devices for work, negotiate favorable rates with your preferred mobile carriers – for both voice and data plans – to make the transition to BYOD at least cost-neutral to employees.
- Define your end user support model. To manage support costs in a BYOD deployment, determine whether you have the right staff and expertise on hand to support the growing number of users.
- Define your mobile app strategy. To get the maximum bang for your BYOD buck, you need to provide your users the right set of corporate apps to help them stay productive wherever they are. The apps, which should be defined by business objectives and user profiles, may include basic ones, such as e-mail, file sharing, or a secure browser, or a suite of custom apps that enables powerful mobile workflows.
- Monitor program usage. Define how you’ll measure success for your BYOD program and how it will align with your business goals.
The full text of the CIO report can be accessed at http://resources.cio.com/ccd/assets/87956/detail. ARMA International also offers a web seminar titled “Issues to Consider When Applying ‘Bring Your Own Device’ to ERM.” This seminar can be accessed through the online store at www.arma.org/bookstore.