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It may have taken you awhile, but you’ve convinced the powers-that-be to let your company try the whole "BYOD thing.”
After all, many of your employees have been asking for it, especially the younger ones who are already firmly attached to their favorite personal devices. Your competition may already be doing it, and many work forces are finding that heading in this direction can make it easier to connect people, share information and minimize costs. In fact, a 2013 survey of 1,000 technology professionals by TechRepublic and ZDNet showed that 62 percent of companies have switched to a BYOD format or plan to in the next year.
Of course, like any change in policy, it won’t happen just by saying “here we go,” but it’s a start. Managers need to put together clear goals and rules, anticipate possible security concerns and make sure everyone receives the same orientation. An overarching emphasis to the team that this new freedom of being un-tethered comes with responsibility to safeguard data and stay productive is vital.
So here we go.
Get There First
There are a lot of decisions companies must make before rolling out the new BYOD rules, including which employee groups can — and should — be part of the process, what devices will be permitted, and whether or not employees will receive a stipend. These can help set the basic boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable use.
Answer Basic Money Questions
Though employees may have generally thought a BYOD-friendly workplace is a fine concept, they may not have considered the possible financial impact. Start by covering the possible costs or benefits, like if they need to buy a different mobile device or can use their present one, if they need to change their data package due to increased monthly usage, who pays for updates and upgrades and what happens to their plans if they leave the company.
Employees need to clearly understand the possible risks associated with BYOD, such as the device falling into the wrong hands or someone illegally accessing their device. This can possibly have direct consequences to them if they accidentally lose a device or share a password, according to TechRepublic. Some devices are more secure than others, like Blackberry, which allows you to securely separate your personal data from your business data and other tools.
BYOD is all about staying connected. Everyone is on the same page, even if they're using different devices. Create a private app store employees can access, so they can all download the latest apps and updates necessary to complete their work. Since your company controls this store, it’s easy to track people’s downloads and activity to make sure everyone is adhering to the rules.
Questions will always come up, especially if new employees join the company or new “must have” hardware is released. Apperian suggests holding regular opt-in Q&A sessions where the company’s BYOD philosophy is discussed, security is reinforced and solutions to new problems are discussed.
Jack's a small business owner by day who's writing the great American novel at night.View Jack Mann`s profile for more