Once upon a time, the corporate environment embraced the idea of the mobile device. In order to connect to email and network systems, corporations released fully-controlled Blackberry smartphones. Employees were high-tech, connected, and could do what they needed in the field. Or at least they thought they could.
The role of the mobile device in the workplace has evolved. While some companies still desire the opportunity to fully control mobile devices and how their employees use them, others are embracing the opportunity for bring your own device (BYOD) strategies and the benefits they can deliver.
Getting to a place of harmony in the use of personally-owned mobile devices on the corporate network, however, has not been a smooth ride. While BYOD offers significant cost savings over previous methods, it isn’t an easy task to figure out how to enable users, regardless of device, and still keep the network secure.
Instead of figuring it out along the way, a number of companies and their IT departments have opted to leverage the capabilities and controls available within mobile device management (MDM) software. MDM gives IT a great way to manage the various devices accessing the network, without adding to the complexities already created by BYOD.
For smaller companies that may not want to implement a whole new software package, MDM providers are a good resource for enabling BYOD. No matter the size of a business, the goal is to ensure the benefits afforded through BYOD — such as lower cost, greater accessibility, better employee balance, and more — are not outweighed by the risks associated with the practice.
MDM providers can also be a good resource in the development of a mobile policy. This is valuable whether BYOD is an important corporate strategy or not. The policy should be relatively comprehensive and address such elements as:
- Messaging use
- Location services
- Allowed personal devices
- Separation of personal and business data
- Rules in regards to downloaded applications
- Employee responsibilities
- Business permissions
- Agreement on terms between the business and its employees
While BYOD presents a new way to enable employees to stay connected at a lower price, it does come with its own set of risks and challenges. Putting a policy in place to address those factors is key to a successful implementation and long-term management. Get IT involved, as well as those responsible for managing your communications.
If you don’t have a partner in place, contact Copper State Communications. We can help you find the right path to seamless communications.